The high production of natural gas, especially from Shale, has made the U.S. think that they do not require coal and nuclear energy to meet the high electricity demand. This is a big misconception since the two sources of energy are still needed to help supply the much-required electricity in the country. Since the economy of America is growing at a rapid rate, depending on one source of energy is very risky hence the need to diversify to various sources of energy.
High Demand for Electricity
Due to the increasing electricity demand, it will be difficult for America to supply enough power using one source of energy. According to research, electricity demand is expected to rise by 20% by the year 2040. Therefore, producing enough power to meet the demand using one source of energy will be very difficult. For this to be successful, America must diversify into other sources of energy such as nuclear and coal.
Closure of Coal and Nuclear Energy Plants
Several coal plants have been shut down in Pennsylvania, and others elsewhere are expected to be shut down soon. The coal plants are expected to be replaced by wind power and natural gas. Other sources of energy that are also on the verge of closure are nuclear energy. Due to the rapid closure of these energy sources, America could have serious electrical problems which may lead to brownouts and blackouts. Constant blackouts may bring great losses to the industrial sector and lead to unemployment among Americans.
It is very dangerous to believe that coal and natural gas can be replaced by natural gas to produce enough power to be used in the whole of America. Natural gas has been supplying about 80% of the needed power, hence closing the coal, and nuclear power plants will lead to overstretching of the natural gas supply. It also means that liquefied gas will have to be imported to meet the growing electricity demand.
Due to this, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has intervened by invoking subsidies similar to wind and solar energy to save coal and nuclear energy. The commission has urged that such subsidies be introduced immediately. The FERC is conducting its research on the reliability of electricity, and it will not allow the coal and nuclear energies in America to close prematurely.
Nuclear energy is one of the best eco-friendly forms of energy and it accounts for 19% of America’s energy and 35% of the electricity used in Pennsylvania. Therefore, it should be backed up as wind and solar energy since they only contribute to 7% of the U.S. energy supply. Additionally, wind and solar energy are always backed up with nuclear and coal energy when wind and solar are not available.
The noble thing that can be done by the government is to stop the closure of nuclear and coal plants. This will be both beneficial to the state and its citizens. Several jobs will be saved, and also the government will not incur a loss in taxes if these plants continue to operate. It is time the FERC acted at its best to avoid putting America at the risk of power dependency and save the coal and nuclear plants. Experts believe that mining industry companies like Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR) hope that as many power sources as possible remain available so that supply can grow in tandem with the growing demand for electricity.
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