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MIT study examines impact of rapidly increasing renewables in the Midwest

A new Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study of the impacts of increasing renewable energy levels in the Midwest reveals reliability concerns, energy price increases and price volatility as potential impacts.

“As a member-owned, member-governed wholesale power generation cooperative, we are alarmed by a rush to renewables without technologies available today to ensure reliable power at affordable prices,” said David Tudor, Associated Electric’s CEO and general manager. “Our member-consumers clearly prioritize reliability and affordability in the electricity they depend on. We cannot sacrifice reliable electric supply or affordable rates.”

Key points:

A responsible transition to a different energy future requires recognition of three key issues. These should be recognized in any realistic consideration of energy policy in our nation. Reliability and affordability of energy supply will suffer if these are not taken into account:

  • Technology: The technical means to make a quick paradigm shift to 100% renewables does not exist today. Yes, potential solutions are being studied that may one day be reliable and affordable for member-consumers. It is not a reality today or near-term.
  • Transmission: The existing high-voltage transmission system was not designed to accommodate a rapid and significant influx of intermittent renewable energy.  This roadblock can only be addressed with expensive and extensive upgrades to the existing transmission system.
  • Time: Both technology development that maintains reliable and affordable energy and the ability to move large volumes of renewable energy via transmission system investments will take significant time, which is not recognized in most of today’s aggressive policy proposals.

Read the MIT report, Challenges and opportunities for decarbonizing power systems in the US Midwest:

More about Associated Electric Cooperative:

Media contact:               Mark Viguet, (417) 371-5246,

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