Advanced Energy Perspectives

Market Briefs Shed Light on the Benefits of DERs and Energy Storage in Wholesale Markets

Posted by Prusha Hasan and Dylan Reed

Jan 22, 2020 5:57:03 PM

WholesaleMktgCOV

Last August, thunderstorms in the United Kingdom triggered a loss of power generation that left 1.1 million consumers fumbling for a flashlight. As trains halted and traffic slowed, 475 MW of energy storage began discharging. A combination of batteries and other generators worked together to take 1 GW of demand off the system. In less than four minutes, grid frequency was returned to normal and power returned to customers. Blackouts are not particular to the UK. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Americans lose approximately $150 billion to power outages each year. What’s less common is the use of advanced energy technologies like energy storage and distributed energy resources to increase reliability and keep the lights on. But that could change, if these technologies were allowed to compete in wholesale electricity markets on the basis of price and performance. Two new market briefs from AEE demonstrate why they should.

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Topics: Wholesale Markets

Why a Bandage Fix for Cost-Effectiveness Testing Isn’t Enough

Posted by Adam Scheer, Jake Millette, Olivia Patterson, and Julie Michals

Jan 15, 2020 11:30:00 AM

Rip Off Band-Aid

This is a guest post by Adam Scheer (Recurve), Jake Millette and Olivia Patterson (Opinion Dynamics), and Julie Michals (E4TheFuture)

Driven by advancing technologies and by policies that are evolving to both mitigate and adapt to climate change, the energy industry is changing at a breakneck pace. On the demand side, our fundamental challenge is moving beyond siloed programs into scaled demand flexibility to achieve states’ priorities such as grid resilience, resource adequacy, and decarbonization, amidst increasing electrification. Critically, scaling distributed energy resources (DERs) to meet a host of policy goals will require that we leverage limited ratepayer dollars to cultivate as much energy efficiency (EE) and other DER investment as possible. The question is: are cost-effectiveness (CE) testing practices developed decades ago adequate to guide our industry investments today? In our experience, legacy CE practices are inhibiting both innovative program designs and commonsense best practices for putting ratepayer dollars to optimal use.

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Topics: Guest Post, 21st Century Electricity System, utility, Regulation, Energy Efficiency

Virginia Clean Economy Act Offers Growth, Jobs, and Savings

Posted by Gloria Li

Jan 8, 2020 3:00:00 PM

VA Clean Economy - AEE Blog-730

In September, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam made a splash when he issued Executive Order 43, charting a path toward 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 for the Commonwealth. It is no secret that, in order to fulfill a mandate like this, the Commonwealth’s energy sector needs to change in ways big and small. The Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) provides a path for Virginia to achieve that change, while saving money, creating jobs, and boosting the economy along the way. 

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Topics: State Policy Update, Virginia

How a New FERC Order Could Set Back Our Industry, Cost Consumers Money, and Turn the Tables on States that Want Advanced Energy

Posted by Dylan Reed and Jeff Dennis

Jan 8, 2020 10:19:47 AM

FERC PJM MOPR blog post-730

A decision handed down by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on a seemingly obscure issue in one regional power market threatens to have far ranging impact on the cost of electricity, the future of state policy, and the ability for advanced energy to compete – and win, as it has been doing – in the marketplace. FERC’s policy change is purportedly intended to address the “price suppression” in competitive wholesale power markets allegedly caused by resources that are supported by state policies like renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and zero emission credit (ZEC) policies. But what FERC’s decision will actually do is limit the ability of advanced energy resources to participate in the nation’s largest electricity market, force customers from New Jersey to Ohio to pay twice for the generating capacity they need,  steer funds to existing coal and natural gas power plants that are otherwise redundant, and undermine state policies that are explicitly intended to promote advanced energy deployment. How it will do so is complicated, but potentially devastating to the advanced energy economy that has been steadily growing in the United States.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Wholesale Markets

Big Businesses’ Appetite for Renewable Energy in Florida is Growing, and Solar is on the Menu

Posted by Gloria Li

Dec 17, 2019 4:15:00 PM

Florida Buyers solar-730

Florida is, in many ways, a state powered by sunshine. From the endless summer that attracts droves of tourists and drives the associated $67 billion tourism industry to the sun-loving crops that allow Florida to lead the Southeast in agriculture, Floridians have the ready availability of sunlight to thank for the state’s most prominent industries. Now, there is another way that the Sunshine State could capitalize on its solar resource – to feed its commercial and industrial powerhouses, producing jobs and investment along with energy that’s low-cost and clean. 

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, Regulation, Advanced Energy Buyers Group

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Advanced Energy Perspectives is AEE's blog presenting news, analysis, and commentary on creating an advanced energy economy. Join the conversation!

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