There is growing alarm that the top-down push to transition America to renewable energy is surgically dismantling our existing electrical grid and its ability to provide reliable power when needed.

The blackouts in California and Texas were not anomalies. As one energy regulator has warned, there should have been a national wake-up call for a system in crisis. From coast to coast, the nation’s energy supply is becoming increasingly scarce and less stable. North American Electricity Reliability Corp., which oversees the reliability of the electric grid, is sounding an ever louder alarm that we are getting ourselves into an entirely avoidable but dangerous situation.

According to the corporation’s winter reliability assessment, Texas, the Northeast, the Midwest, and the Southeast are at high risk for emergency operating conditions, and the possibility of power outages in New England during the coldest days of winter are now raised. records as a surprisingly high probability. One of the lead authors of the winter assessment told reporters: “The system has not been stressed in this way in the past and probably, more importantly, it has not been as widespread.”

The obvious question is why the nation’s energy supply is on the ropes. While proponents of renewable energy like to point out anything but the intermittency of its resources, the hidden headline is that traditional energy sources, namely coal plants, are being forced off the grid without a real plan to reliably replace fuel and ignition safety. Demand for the energy they provide. Trying to replace coal generation with climate-sensitive power sources has turned out to be foolish.

High penetration of renewable energy into power grids has become a defining challenge everywhere large amounts of solar and wind power are added. For example, the boom-and-bust nature of wind power means that billions of dollars in investment can sustain a grid for hours or disappear entirely when the wind stops blowing. At the end of November in the United Kingdom, for example, wind power went from generating 16 GW of power —equivalent to 15 large coal plants— to 0.4 GW in a day and a half. Planning for and adapting to that kind of volatility is precisely the crux of our pending energy crisis.

In Germany, these wild swings and prolonged moments of debilitating, uncooperative weather are called “dunklefaluten” or dark stagnation. Renewable energy there can go from meeting 75% of the nation’s power to just 15% overnight.

Renewable power generation is just as reliable as backup generation that must take over when it is inevitably not available. But to a disturbing degree, this secure backup power source is being dismantled to almost the same extent as renewables are being added to the nation’s power plants.

Consumers need help paying more and more for an increasingly unreliable system. Energy-fueled inflation is placing a huge and growing burden on Americans who, according to numerous surveys, are sacrificing food and other necessities to keep the lights on or heat their homes.

One would expect our elected leaders to recognize, address and fix this problem, but sadly the opposite is true, as the administration has sided with green energy fanatics to unleash a self-titled “set of regulations” to boost the economy of the nation. remaining off-grid coal capacity. This means eliminating a resource that supplies more than 20% of the nation’s energy, is the primary source of electricity generation in 15 states, and does the heavy lifting during periods of peak power demand during the bitter cold. The coal fleet is an invaluable price buffer that has shielded consumers from high natural gas prices, a direct result of the global energy crisis and the United States’ new role as the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.

It is extraordinarily unlikely that those perpetuating the war on American coal will ever find a reason and change course, but if recent events in Europe are any indication, there may be no other option. Germany, the world champion in renewable energy, has pushed to replace Russian power this year, reopening or extending the life of 21 coal-fired plants.

On a recent windless day, coal gathered 40% of Germany’s power. Our coal fleet should also play a vital role in providing balanced and secure energy, now and in the future.

Matthew Kandrach is president of Consumer Action for a Strong Economy. He wrote this for