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Renewables Have A Bleak Future Thanks to Carbon Dioxide Regulations, Says GE


Natural Gas PlantThe US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering setting strict greenhouse gas regulations for existing power plants. Sounds good, right? Not according to General Electric.

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.

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  1. The best solution all along has been to STOP subsidizing fossil fuels which should allow for their gradual reduction.  Building a national grid would also be a big help.  The federal Bonneville Power Administration which “wheels” both publicly and privately produced power for a fee over a five state area is a good model for how that would work.


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