U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry at Consumer Energy Alliance Forum: Innovation and Choice Key to Future of Electrical Grid and America’s Energy Sector

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Consumer
Energy Alliance
(CEA), a national advocate for energy consumers,
today hosted “The Future of Electricity Forum” in Washington, D.C., with
a keynote speech by U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. The event
featured various energy policy experts who spoke about the current power
system in the United States, the future of the electrical grid and
America’s energy sector.

During the presentation, speakers from across all fuel types stressed
the need for an all-of-the-above energy strategy that does not pit fuel
sources against each other. They also discussed their primary concerns
surrounding grid reliability and resiliency, and how technological
innovations are modernizing the American energy sector.

Perry was joined by the following business leaders, policymakers and
organizations:

  • Michele Bloodworth, President and CEO, ACCCE
  • Marc Brown, President, New England Ratepayers Association
  • Kevin Knobloch, President of New York Ocean Grid LLC, Anbaric
    Development Partners
  • John Berger, President and CEO, Sunnova
  • Stacy Derstine, Vice President of Customer Service and Chief Customer
    Officer, APS
  • William Murray, Vice President of State and Public Policy, Dominion
    Energy
  • Kirk Johnson, Senior Vice President Government Affairs, NRECA
  • Matt Crozat, Senior Director for Policy Development, NEI
  • Michael Whatley, Executive Vice President, CEA

At the event, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry stated that:

“Today, consumers have more choices, more information, and more say in
their energy choices than ever before. Whether you’re an individual
consumer here in the U.S. or an energy importing country like those I
just recently visited in Central Europe, your choices are plentiful and
increasing. And much of that is due to the innovation that is led and
supported by the Department of Energy.”

Whatley highlighted the importance of leaders coming together to
discuss the future of our country’s electricity.

“The conversation on grid reliability, resiliency and security is
critical because we need states, utilities and the federal government
looking for long-term solutions to the challenges and risks that are
facing the grid today,” Whatley said. “We are no longer asking whether
renewables are going to be a significant factor in our electricity mix.
Instead, we have to ask how are we going to incorporate them into our
fuel mix in a way that will increase reliability and keep costs lower
for energy consumers. It is vital for policy makers to look at how new
technologies are changing the energy landscape and lead our nation
towards more innovative energy solutions.”

Bloodworth on resiliency of the grid following fleet retirements
across the country:

“Over the past several years, some 40 percent of the U.S. coal fleet has
either retired or announced plans to retire. Due to the continued
retirement of the coal fleet, federal and state officials along with
industry stakeholders are raising serious concerns about the resilience
of the electric grid. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in
CEA’s Forum to share my perspective on the important work that
policymakers can undertake to ensure we preserve the existing coal
fleet. Coal is an affordable, reliable, and fuel secure energy resource
that provides almost one-third of our nation’s electricity.”

Brown discussed the importance of having a more rationale energy
policy:

“Too often regulators and elected officials do not understand or
appreciate the impacts that political policies are having on our energy
markets. As a result, we as a region, and even nationally, are headed
down a path of increased costs and decreased reliability,” Brown said.
“Businesses, families, generators, utilities and anyone concerned about
the escalating costs of electricity should join to fight for less
government interference and more open energy markets.”

Berger highlighted the changing landscape of the country’s power
mix as it relates to solar energy:

“The U.S. energy system is changing rapidly due to pressures from
consumer demand, energy preferences and advancing technology. It’s time
for a wholesale rethinking of the current energy system, rather than
trying to fit innovation into the status quo.” He concluded saying,
“Let’s build an energy system for the 21st century that will ultimately
result in cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy options for
consumers.”

Knobloch highlighted:

“The rapid growth of land-based wind energy and the emerging promise of
offshore wind at scale and increasing affordability is exciting, but to
fully realize this powerful new economic sector we must thoughtfully
plan now for modern transmission infrastructure that can efficiently
deliver those clean electrons to the American factories, businesses and
homes that need them.”

About Consumer Energy Alliance

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) brings together families, farmers, small
businesses, distributors, producers and manufacturers to support
America’s energy future. With more than 500,000 members nationwide, our
mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for
households across the country. We believe energy development is
something that touches everyone in our nation, and thus it is necessary
for all of us to actively engage in the conversation about how we
develop our diverse energy resources and energy’s importance to the
economy. Learn more at ConsumerEnergyAlliance.org.

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