Find the full text here Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability I really like this report, it's right up my alley. It is professionally done. Every assertion of fact is documented with citations to reputable data sources. I found nothing outrageous in the 187 pages. I prefer not to post this in You!: Fix the US Energy Crisis because that thread is about free thinking, heavy on opinion and light on facts. This report is the opposite of that. However, the purported subjects of that thread and this report overlap a lot. I read the whole report. If anyone has questions, I'll volunteer to find the answers in the report and post them here (give me 36 hours turn around, I'm touring and Internet connections are infrequent. The report studied: Power Plant Retirements Reliability and Resiliance Wholesale Electricity Markets Affordability It specifically notes that the following are outside the scope of the report. Cybersecurity and non-cyber terror attacks. US states and territories outside the lower 48 states. Biomass, geothermal, combined heat-power plants. Below are the reports findings. My comments are in italics. 1. The evolution of wholesale electricity markets, including the extent to which Federal policy interventions and the changing nature of the electricity fuel mix are challenging the original policy assumptions that shaped the creation of those markets. 1.1 While centrally-organized markets have achieved reliable wholesale electricity delivery with economic efficiencies in their short-term operations, changing circumstances have challenged both centrally-organized and, to a lesser extent, vertically-integrated markets. 1.2 Evolving market conditions and the need to accommodate VRE [e.g. wind&solar] have led to the increased flexible operation of generation and other grid resources. Some generation technologies originally designed to operate as baseload were not intended to operate flexibly, and in nuclear power’s case, do not have a regulatory regime that allows them to do so. 1.3 Society places value on attributes of electricity provision beyond those compensated by the current design of the wholesale market.2. Whether wholesale energy and capacity markets are adequately compensating attributes such as onsite fuel supply and other factors that strengthen grid resilience and, if not, the extent to which this could affect grid reliability and resilience in the future. 2.1 Markets recognize and compensate reliability, and must evolve to continue to compensate reliability, but more work is needed to address resilience.3. The extent to which continued regulatory burdens, as well as mandates and tax and subsidy policies, are responsible for forcing the premature retirement of baseload power plants. 3.1 The biggest contributor to coal and nuclear plant retirements has been the advantaged economics of natural gas-fired generation. 3.2 Another factor contributing to the retirement of power plants is low growth in electricity demand. 3.3 Dispatch of VRE has negatively impacted the economics of baseload plants 3.4 Investments required for regulatory compliance have also negatively impacted baseload plant economics, and the peak in baseload plant retirements (2015) correlated with deadlines for power plant regulations as well as strong signals of future regulation. Finding 3.3 illustrates the multidisciplinary nature of energy policy. Appendix B lists 29 studies about the integration of VRE [wind&solar] into the grid. The studies looked at 7% up to 100% VRE in the mix. Most of the studies are regional, at least one is national. The study authors include a range of optimist, pessimist, and middle ground authors. Note that all agree that VRE can grow substantially. The only disagreements are about the maximum percent penetration far in the future. We have many years before reaching those maximums to do additional studies.