DOE Releases Report on Markets and Reliability
The Secretary of Energy
Washington, DC 20585
August 23, 2017
A reliable and resilient electric grid is critical not only to our national and economic
security, but also to the everyday lives of American families. As Secretary of Energy, it is
my job to help ensure the electric grid and markets meet those needs now and in the future.
With that in mind, I directed my staff to develop a report including an assessment of the
reliability and resilience of the electric grid and an overview of the evolution of electricity
markets. This review is something that was long overdue. The industry has experienced
massive change in recent years, and government has failed to keep pace. This report
examines the evolution of markets that has occurred over the last fifteen years. Policy
makers and regulators should be making decisions based on what the markets look like
today, not what they looked like years ago.
This staff report examines the complexity of these topics and the very real implications they
have for the American people. It was prepared by experts throughout the Department and
several of our National Laboratories.
This study contains a comprehensive analysis and series of recommendations from the
Department of Energy staff meant to inform and guide policy makers, regulators, and the
general public in future conversations about the challenges we face.
The industry has experienced extraordinary technological and resource changes in recent
years. While these changes are providing more choices for consumers, they are also
challenging the regulatory paradigm that has guided the industry’s growth for decades. The
core objective of electricity regulation has always been, and should continue to be, to ensure
a reliable and resilient electric supply system that serves customers in an equitable manner.
It is apparent that in today’s competitive markets certain regulations and subsidies are
having a large impact on the functioning of markets, and thereby challenging our power
generation mix. It is important for policy makers to consider their intended and unintended
effects. Federal and State policy makers must continue to work together in close
consultation to address these important issues that have a deep impact on grid reliability and
America is blessed with ingenuity, technology, and millions of dedicated men and women in
the industry who do a tremendous job of guiding the process of generating, transmitting, and
distributing electricity. From engineers to miners and everyone else along the way, the
process of providing the electricity required to power our homes and businesses is
remarkable. The people who do this important work should be recognized for their
dedication and success.
America is also fortunate to have a variety of fuel sources. We need to consider how to use
each effectively while recognizing our differences and unique state and regional
circumstances. We also need to recognize the relationship between resiliency and the price
of energy. Customers should know that a resilient electric grid does come with a price. As
the Secretary of Energy and a member of the National Security Council, I realize the broad
security implications of our power supply. We must utilize the most effective combination
of energy sources with an “all of the above” approach to achieve long-term, reliable
American energy security.
When this report was initiated it received wide ranging stakeholder interest, which was
welcome and underscores the importance and significance of the topic. I hope the report
will serve as the starting point for an important conversation about the future reliability and
resilience of our electric grid.
As Secretary of Energy, I am committed to ensuring that we provide American families and
businesses an electric power system that is technologically advanced, resilient, and reliable
for years to come.
The full report can be found here.
The full report can be found here.