Reliability Within Reach: A Clean, Dependable Electric Grid for the Future Requires Improvements Today

Six wind turbines stand in a row next to an electrical transmission tower, with low mountains in the background


Our way of life depends upon a reliable power grid. Yet keeping the grid running has become more complex and challenging in recent years, thanks to climate change and the resulting severe weather events, including sudden cold snaps and wildfires. Continued fossil fuel dependence will not only exacerbate extreme weather impacts but also protract the power grid’s vulnerability during critical times.

While some grid operators and their affiliated organizations have voiced complaints regarding the pace of the clean energy transition and the decommissioning of old, dirty power plants, we simply cannot delay any efforts to reduce emissions and address the climate crisis. Instead of trying to delay clean energy or objecting to long-overdue U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for power plant emissions, Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators must take immediate steps to build an electricity system fit for the challenges of climate change. In this fact sheet, NRDC outlines nine steps that grid operators can take today to bolster grid reliability for the future. The right choices now will ensure that all consumers can access clean, cheap, reliable energy in the coming decades.

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