GE has reported to the Office of the President of the United States that if the EPA sets too stringent regulations for existing power plants, the amount of renewable energy the grid can handle might actually be very limited.
The EPA’s new rules would impose strict regulations on coal power plants but are supposed to allow natural gas power plants to stay in operation, with the assumption that they emit far less carbon dioxide than their carbon counterparts.
The rules may have an unintended effect, however, and might shut down a specific type of natural gas power plant – one that is critical for incorporating renewable energy into the power grid.
The type of plant in question is responsible for changing power output quickly to accommodate fluctuations that wind farms and solar power plants often produce. In an attempt to meet strict regulations, these plants may no longer be able to ramp up and down fast enough to accommodate the fluctuations of the renewable energy sources.
GE has argued that these strict limitations will deter proponents of renewable energy and with less interest and use of renewables, CO2 emissions will certainly increase.