The importance of coal for grid reliability

Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy, commissioned a report to study electric grid reliability.  The report was favorable and well received by the coal and nuclear industries while being criticized by environmental groups and the solar industry according to the Washington Post.  

While this study will no doubt be a lightning rod in the current political climate, it is also worth noting that Germany, often regarded as the leader in clean and renewable energy, is currently drawing 40-50% of its power demand from coal fired power plants.  Furthermore, a near blackout in January indicates that Germany's ability to wean itself off of coal may be more difficult than anticipated.  You may read more about Germany's grid reliability discussion here.