Sarah Steinberg

Recent Posts

Top 10 State Legislative Issues of 2021

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on May 26, 2021 4:00:00 PM

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Since January, Advanced Energy Economy has been tracking hundreds of pieces of energy-related legislation filed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States Congress. With some sessions already over and some just beginning, a number of trends have begun to emerge. Of course, just getting filed does not mean a bill will become law, or even that it stands much of a chance at all. But the patterns that arise in our survey of filed bills, which is by no means exhaustive, say a lot about what’s on lawmakers’ minds. And of course, some bills are already on the move. In what follows, bills with an asterisk have passed one house of its legislature as of May 25; two asterisks means that the bill has passed both houses (click through to see if it has been signed into law). We’ll be back this fall to catch up on what legislation has made it all the way to gubernatorial desks. For now, here is a look at our top 10 energy issues generating legislative activity across the country.

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Topics: State Policy, PowerSuite

With Two Weeks Left in Session, ‘New Energy Economy Act’ Sets Up Nevada for Success

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on May 18, 2021 1:00:00 PM

NV Energy Bill Blog Image

This week, all eyes are on the Silver State as a much-anticipated clean energy bill moves through the legislative process on a short timeline. Taking on electric vehicles, transmission, wholesale electricity markets, energy efficiency, energy storage, integrated resource planning, economic development tariffs, net metering, and more, State Senator Chris Brooks’s SB 448 “New Energy Economy Act” is poised to inject new economic life into Nevada by harnessing the clean energy transition. With the session scheduled to end May 31, time is short to get this landmark legislation over the finish line.

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Advanced Transportation, Economic Impact

In Indiana Battle Over Self-Commitment, Did Money-Losing Plants Win This Round? Not Entirely

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on Mar 25, 2021 11:00:00 AM

IURC Makes Self-Scheduling Bit Harder

Last week, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) issued its final order in a proceeding to examine Duke Energy Indiana’s coal-fired unit commitment decisions during the Fall of 2019. While the IURC ultimately declined to order Duke to refund customers for the financial losses it knowingly incurred, the Commission rightly acknowledged that today’s changing energy landscape has complicated the way coal plants should operate. AEE had hoped that the IURC would go further to protect customers from the financial harm caused by Duke’s uneconomic operating practices, but the Commission did push Duke to move toward a better decision-making process for future commitment decisions. With those now under a bit more scrutiny, we look forward to working with Duke on the alternatives we proposed to help the utility give up its costly coal addiction in its 2021 Integrated Resource Plan.

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Topics: PUCs, Regulatory, Wholesale Markets

Nevada Should Join the EV Fleet Bandwagon

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on Jan 20, 2021 2:00:30 PM

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Nevada has taken many important steps toward creating an electrified transportation future. In June, Governor Sisolak announced the Clean Cars Initiative, which is a program designed to bring more low-emission and zero-emission cars and light duty trucks to Nevada dealerships. Then, the Nevada Climate Strategy and Division of Environmental Protection’s 2020 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory report echoed the need for thoughtful state policy to expand consumer choice and build out charging infrastructure in order to transform the transportation sector. In addition to their focus on cars and light trucks, they both recognize that electrifying medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will also be critical to meeting  the state’s commitment to a zero-emission future. Fleet ownership will be the key.

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Topics: Advanced Transportation

Time to Stop Sticking Hoosiers with the Bill for Running Coal Plants at a Loss

Posted by Sarah Steinberg on Jan 13, 2021 11:23:50 AM

IN Self-Scheduling proposed order-745

Over the past several months, our Indiana team has been intervening in a proceeding before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to examine Duke Energy Indiana’s coal self-commitment practices. Self-commitment refers to a process by which a utility instructs the regional market within which it operates – in this case, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) – to dispatch the utility’s own resource unit regardless of whether or not it is the cheapest available at the time. Many vertically integrated utilities have been using this mechanism to run their expensive coal plants more frequently than economics would otherwise dictate. They do this because it is not their shareholders who suffer financial losses, but rather their captive ratepayers: When the cost to operate these units exceeds the market clearing price, utilities pass along the difference to customers, in part through fuel adjustment clause proceedings. AEE is working to curb this self-serving utility practice.

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Topics: PUCs, Regulatory, Wholesale Markets