The US Federal Energy Regulator has rejected the government’s proposal to stimulate coal or nuclear power plants to support the nation’s electricity grid. The plan, which was presented in September, is one of the largest initiatives, aiming at improving the competitiveness of these two energy sources amid a boom in demand for electricity from gas or renewable sources. The ministry of energy has presented its proposals with the warning that so many nuclear and coal-fired power plants are in danger of shutting down, which could lead to interruptions and rising electricity prices.
But according to the five-member Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the administration of President Donald Trump has not provided enough evidence that the proposed measures are really needed. Its members believe that there is no excuse for change, which in their view, in turn, will unduly restrict competitiveness.
Dozens of other nuclear power and coal-fired power plants have been closed in recent years due to falling gas prices and technology development. The US President’s administration proposal came at a time when some states also tried to increase the profits of older power plants to keep them in place.
In response to a decision by the Energy Ministry, they said they would continue to work with the regulator and electricity suppliers in the country.
Meanwhile, in some parts of the country, the cost of electricity has been historically declining due to competitive markets. According to a study by the energy ministry in August, the fuel sources supplying the power grid have become much more diverse in recent years.
The proposal by Donald Trump’s administration did not include an estimate of how much electricity would be priced because of possible changes, but according to an analysts the consumers will have to pay extra 1-4 billion USD.
The regulator’s decision is a blow to the companies owning the troubled power plants as well as to the coal producers. Some say closures are inevitable and some companies may even be threatened with bankruptcy without government intervention.