Rick Perry, U.S. Secretary of Energy has asked federal regulators to provide price incentives to help keep coal and nuclear power plants open by planning to cover the risks associated with the resilience of the electrical grid. Many coal and nuclear plant industries favored this move as environmentalists and renewable energy groups were concerned with increase pollution as well as unfair incentives.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) was asked to issue a rule within 60 days to allow plants that provide nonstop power and maintain at least 90 days of fuel supply on site to fully recover costs going through regulated pricing. In recent years, the ending of many coal fired plants and some nuclear reactors had undermined the ability of the grid to stand up to high demand periods which include severe cold winter weather. Both wind and solar power have been expanding rapidly and are being way too dependent on weather.
In April, Perry had issued a study to evaluate whether regulations imposed by administrators in the past had hurt the grid by forcing shutdowns of plants. As a result, a report was released last month that pushed incentives to be used to boost coal fired and nuclear plants while also blaming recent closures on rivals with cheaper natural gas and growth of wind and solar power.