On June 1, President Trump announced plans to prop up struggling coal and nuclear plants across the United States in the name of enhanced grid resilience and national security. This concept of enhanced resilience is being used to justify proposed federal interventions into wholesale electricity markets to protect coal and nuclear generators at risk of retirement due to low market prices.
Researchers at Resources for the Future have published previously on decisionmaking on this topic, and on May 30, co-hosted a workshop with the R Street Institute on economic approaches to identifying and addressing resilience in the bulk power system. This webinar will highlight the timely lessons from that workshop, including definitions of resilience and how it relates to reliability, what’s wrong and what’s right about existing markets and institutions, the role of consumers, and how to decide what to do next.
A careful analysis suggests that current institutions to support system reliability go a long way toward supporting system resilience—and that real threats to reliable electricity supply and quick recovery from outages may lie in other parts of the system, and therefore call for differently targeted measures.