Fossil fuel gas makes the country’s power grid vulnerable

electrical substation under dark sky

Fossil fuel gas plants have grown in popularity over the past fifteen years; this year, these plants will produce 41% of the nation’s power. They’re also contributing to power outages across the country. Fossil fuel gas plants have contributed “to more than seven hours of power interruptions for US households on average in 2021, more than double the rate reported in 2013.”

During this past winter’s storms and freezing weather, a large number of fossil fuel gas-powered plants were offline. “[S]ome gas plants, like Indeck Niles Energy Center in Michigan, didn’t produce any power at all during the grid’s emergency calls to action, the data show. At that brand-new facility, which had only been commissioned a couple of months prior, severe winter weather caused critical equipment like transmitters and valves to freeze, said people familiar with the operations who asked not be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Indeck Niles management declined to comment.”

Read the full article at Bloomberg

DTE and Consumers aim to spend taxpayers’ ‘low carbon’ money on fossil fuel gas

DTE wants to spend our money on fossil fuel power plants

“[R]ather than moving residents away from burning fossil fuels for home energy, DTE Energy is looking to transition rural Michigan homes and businesses from propane to fossil gas, or “natural gas”, and use a state “low carbon” grant program to do so.

The company requested a total of $26.19 million in taxpayer dollars through a state grant program to expand gas service into counties in west and northwest Michigan, as well as Delta County in the Upper Peninsula….

Advocates say DTE’s proposals ignore the benefits of building electrification, which could protect customers from volatile gas prices, reduce indoor air pollution associated with asthma and other health problems, and help the state meet the goals laid out in the MI Healthy Climate Plan, which looks to reduce emissions from buildings by 17% by 2030.

Consumers Energy came in for similar criticism for proposals to use $28.29 million in grant money for biogas or “renewable natural gas” projects. These would build four biogas facilities at large dairy and beef farms.

A Michigan Public Service Commission report found that biogas (also known as “renewable natural gas”) could replace only a fraction of Michigan’s fossil gas use and cut just up to 5% of carbon pollution statewide.”

Read the full article by Brian Allnutt at Planet Detroit