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Enormous potential future value for diversified portfolios of renewable, fossil-fueled, and nuclear power generation --- enable grids to have resilience against extreme weather events related to climate change and “Black Swan” volcanic eruptions.
Proverb: “In the first place … an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin (1735). Fukushima lessons: mitigate improbable extreme events if not too expensive; $200 million was thought too costly to fix backup generators in 2006 but the ‘cure’ for the 2011 nuclear disaster now costs $189 billion and could take 30 - 40 years.
What may appear ‘greener’ and less $$$ in myopic short-term decision-making about grids could end-up being extremely $$$ expensive or catastrophic in longer-term. Data suggests that is it too risky for society to put all its energy “eggs” into a single renewable basket. Lattice therefore believes balanced diversity of different types of grid power sources is best strategy for insuring 99+% future reliability and excellent resiliency of electricity grids facing onslaughts of extreme weather events and low but non-zero probability for catastrophic Black Swan volcanic eruptions.
Since high % of renewable energy sources on electricity grids is a new phenomenon and unexplored territory, there aren’t preexisting road maps to guide government regulation and critical implementation by industry. Private sector companies by nature are concerned with short-term bottom line profitability and have more narrowly focused interests; by contrast, government is responsible for insuring national energy security over much longer time-frames and broader range of grid-threatening events.
Rick Perry/DOE’s controversial NOPR to FERC in September created an important opportunity for U.S. government and industry to begin productive dialogue about how to enhance the U.S. electricity grid’s ability to maintain present reliability and adapt to climate change.