Sustaining a Reliable Electric System
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” This is often said when someone is about to do something foolish or risky. If they heed this advice, they don’t commit to “one basket” but instead hedge their bets with multiple options.
This strategy is how I describe JOEMC’s common-sense approach in the current energy transition. We know that consumer interest in renewable energy continues to grow—we’ve seen this trend here in North Carolina. And recent innovations and advances in renewable energy technologies have led to lower costs, making renewables more feasible, accessible, and scalable.
Nationally, there is increasing reliance on renewable energy sources at the same time that we see fossil fuel plants and nuclear plants taken offline, often ahead of schedule. Additionally, we see more pressure on the electric grid due to the increasing frequency and intensity of severe weather events and rising electricity demand.
So how do we balance the challenges of maintaining grid reliability and a changing fuel mix? Solar and wind energy benefit the environment but are limited resources because the sun does not always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow. Even when combined with battery storage, these resources are still limited by how long the battery lasts until it needs to be recharged. JOEMC’s primary responsibility is to provide electricity 24/7 to you and our community. To do this, we need reliable sources of power that will meet all the peaks and valleys of on-demand energy in our connected world.
That’s where “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” comes in—while renewables are increasing, we still need to incorporate other forms of energy into the mix to ensure reliable service. Remember, solar and wind are intermittent power sources. This fact, coupled with the growing demand for renewables, creates challenges. Maintaining a diverse mix of fuel sources— nuclear energy, fossil fuels, and renewables continues to be of great value to ensure reliability, resiliency, and meeting the growing electricity demand.
The Bottom Line
Lowering the overall carbon footprint in this country means we’re going to electrify more and more of our economy. Solar an wind power are essential parts of a broader energy portfolio but are not always available. In today’s ever-connected world, people need and expect power around the clock. As our nation increasingly depends on electricity to power the economy, JOEMC is working for you— our members— as we anticipate, plan, and respond to market trends and policy shifts. That’s how we can power your home and our economy while continuing to serve as your local energy provider.