PJM Grid Not on Track to Meet Future Electric Demand

Member Group : Center Square

(The Center Square) – While demand for electricity is set to significantly increase by 2040, planning is not in place to increase electricity production to meet those estimates, according to a new report from Clean Energy Grid related to PJM Interconnection.

PJM coordinates wholesale energy movement for 65 million people through parts or all of Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“A key barrier to transmission development is a lack of proactive transmission planning,” the report said. “Opponents and skeptics of proactive planning often raise the specter of uncertainty and speculation as a roadblock to achieving robust and reliable results. But these concerns will not be resolved by ignoring the massive changes impacting the energy industry and continuing to plan reactively.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has led interstate efforts to push back against policies from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that could lead to as many as two-thirds of all vehicles in the United States to be electric vehicles by 2032.

“The Biden administration’s woke agenda is also placing more strain and demand on our nation’s electrical energy grids at the same time that it has taken dramatic measures to weaken them,” Morrisey said while fighting the EPA requirements. “Its continued war on coal ensures that the grid won’t have the baseload capacity to take on even more demand from electric vehicles, particularly in the off-hours that people charge these cars. Yet agencies like the EPA continue to ignore the production and distribution challenges that lie ahead if proposals like this are adopted.”

The report says PJM’s 2040 energy demands will increase by 8% to 18% above the 2024 load forecast and PJM will need an additional 623 to 798 terawatt hours of annual electricity by 2040 to meet the resource gap.

That means anywhere from a 76% to 100% increase in annual energy production “driven by higher electrification estimates leading to larger load growth and higher amounts of generation retirements due to shorter plant lifespan assumptions.”