Advanced Energy Perspectives

What do Hawaii and Pennsylvania (and Several Other States) Have in Common? They’re Charting a Course Toward Utility Regulatory Reform.

Posted by Ryan Katofsky

Jan 30, 2019 3:00:00 PM

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As we have written many times in the past, the electric power sector is in the midst of some big changes. Whether it is new wind and solar power beating existing coal generation on price, the rise of electric and autonomous vehicles, or the multiple factors behind the evolving utility business model, change is in the air, and those changes are being driven in large part by technology and customer preferences. So it is not a question of if, but when change occurs, and it is also possible to imagine what the end state is going to look like, even if the timing and many of the details remain unknown. Uncertain, as well, is the path to that end state. But states ranging from Pennsylvania to Hawaii are blazing the trail, each in their own way.

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, Regulation

Top 10 Utility Regulation Trends of 2018

Posted by Coley Girouard

Dec 19, 2018 4:52:37 PM

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Photo by Tom Burke, used under a Creative Commons license

In July, we published a list of the top 10 utility regulation trends of 2018 – so far. With 2018 winding down, we check in on the top public utility commission (PUC) actions and trends of the year. Ten prominent trends and actions stand out above the rest, from renewables continuing their downward price trajectory, to electric vehicle charging infrastructure build-outs getting approved, to exploration of utility business model reforms and non-wires alternatives to traditional distribution investments. Here is the full round-up of the top 10 matters before PUCs in 2018.

Note: some links in this post reference documents in AEE's software platform, PowerSuite. Click here and sign up for a free trial.

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Topics: PUCs, 21st Century Electricity System, Advanced Transportation

Pioneering a Performance-Based Future for Energy Efficiency, California Utilities are Creating an Opportunity for Innovation Not to be Missed

Posted by Matt Golden

Dec 18, 2018 5:30:32 PM

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This is a guest post by Matt Golden, CEO of AEE member company OpenEE.

Energy efficiency in California is rapidly evolving. Moving toward the state’s 50% renewable portfolio standard (RPS), SB350 goals to double energy efficiency and renewable energy, and perhaps most importantly, new SB100 requirements to achieve zero carbon on the grid by 2045, it has become necessary to rethink our demand-side strategy. Achieving these lofty targets while maintaining a balanced, stable, and affordable grid will take all the distributed energy resources we can get, including a massive increase in demand flexibility from energy efficiency, electrification, and controls. 

New solicitations for energy efficiency services from California’s investor-owned utilities point the way toward a future of performance-based capture of energy savings when and where they matter, driven by innovation in the marketplace. Energy efficiency providers should see this as an opportunity – and there’s no time to waste. 

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Topics: Guest Post, California Engagement, 21st Century Electricity System

The Numbers are In and Renewables are Winning On Price Alone

Posted by Coley Girouard

Dec 5, 2018 4:00:00 PM


We knew this time was coming, but now it’s here: Call it the crossover point, when technologies like large-scale wind and solar come so far down the cost curve that they become cheaper than legacy sources of electric power generation. Cheaper than the old alternatives, in terms of making new investments. Cheaper, even, than keeping old power plants going, in some cases. And that time is now. You can see it in the latest estimates of lifetime costs of electricity from new power sources made by investment bank Lazard, and you can see it in the latest purchases of renewable power by utilities. Any way you look at it, advanced energy is winning.

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System

Distribution system planning: Proactively planning for more distributed assets at the grid edge

Posted by Coley Girouard and Ryan Katofsky

Nov 27, 2018 11:00:00 AM

This is the seventh in an occasional series from AEE, originally published in Utility Dive, that addresses how the power sector can successfully transition to a 21st Century Electricity System.

U.S. utilities invest over $20 billion per year replacing and modernizing their electricity distribution infrastructure. As the electricity system continues to evolve, making sure that this money continues to be invested wisely, especially at a time of growing deployment of distributed energy resources (DER), is prompting changes to how utilities conduct distribution system planning.

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Topics: PUCs, 21st Century Electricity System, Regulation

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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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