The Trump administration does not see wind and solar energy as a threat to electric grid reliability, according to a draft of a major forthcoming Energy Department study.
"The power system is more reliable today due to better planning, market discipline, and better operating rules and standards," according to the draft of the study that was obtained Friday by Bloomberg.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry said the study would look at the threat to nuclear and coal baseload power plants that run 24-hours, seven days a week, compared to more intermittent renewable energy that changes with weather conditions. But the draft findings appear to favor arguments made by the wind energy industry that the current grid is much more advanced and can accommodate more variability.
The findings are still under review by the agency's leadership, but Bloomberg reported that they contrast with Perry's arguments that coal and nuclear power plants are jeopardized by Obama administration incentives for renewable energy, making the grid unreliable.
Two people familiar with the report confirmed the draft report's findings while speaking to Bloomberg on condition on anonymity. They cautioned, however, that the conclusions are subject to change.
"Those statements as written are not in the current draft," Energy Department spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes said. She said the draft is "constantly evolving." But Bloomberg pointed out that she did not say that the findings in the obtained draft were incorrect.
Coal industry sources told the Washington Examiner that they are expecting the study to be issued next week. The study had originally been targeted for release in early July.