Advanced Energy Perspectives

How Wholesale Electricity Markets Work – and Don’t

Posted by Prusha Hasan and Dylan Reed

Oct 16, 2019 2:58:08 PM

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Two-thirds of the nation’s wholesale electricity sales occur in a competitive market managed by a Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) or Independent System Operator (ISO), with over 200 million customers in these areas and over $120 billion in annual energy transactions taking place. Under the Federal Power Act, these markets are overseen by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which ultimately determines the rules for how wholesale electricity is bought and sold in the marketplace. RTOs/ISOs develop the market rules that dictate whether and how energy resources can participate and compete. Wholesale electricity markets should allow all resources to compete on price and performance, as the Federal Power Act requires that the rates, terms, and conditions of service governing wholesale competitive markets be “just and reasonable” and not grant any “undue preference or advantage.” Many market rules, however, are outdated, having been designed with older technologies in mind. Those rules can favor incumbent technologies and disadvantage newer and more innovative energy options – that is, advanced energy.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Wholesale Markets

Challenge to FERC and the Senate: Opening Wholesale Markets to Competition from All Advanced Energy Technologies

Posted by Dylan Reed and Prusha Hasan

Sep 26, 2019 12:02:56 PM

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In the advanced energy industry, all eyes are on the incredible shrinking FERC. With now two open seats, the Commission can barely muster a quorum – and not always, as a Trump Administration ethics pledge is keeping Commissioner Richard Glick from participating in important cases. Media outlets have reported that the White House plans to offer a single nomination to fill McIntyre’s seat, a potentially troubling departure from the tradition of pairing Republican and Democratic nominees. In flux as it is, FERC faces a range of pending decisions that could have huge impacts on the nation’s electricity market – and on advanced energy growth. Ultimately, what the advanced energy industry is looking for from FERC Commissioners – those now seated, and new ones to come – is for barriers to competition in wholesale markets to come down.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Wholesale Markets

Green New Deal vs. Green Real Deal: What Do They Mean for Advanced Energy?

Posted by Dylan Reed

Apr 3, 2019 3:00:00 PM

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Today, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL-1) released a “Green Real Deal” resolution in response to the Democratic proposal authored by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14). The introduction of each proposal marks a significant shift in the focus on advanced energy at the federal level. Over the previous 24 months, the advanced energy industry spent much time and energy – often with a coalition of unusual allies – beating back proposals that would have provided out-of-market payments to uneconomic power plants to the tune of $34 billion. Fast forward to today, and both parties are putting forward visions on federal energy policy with advanced energy at the center. Neither is going to become law any time soon. Rather, they represent starting points in a discussion that will take place over the coming years. Here’s what each of these starting points contain for advanced energy. 

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Topics: Federal Policy Update

Pointing to Market Realities, AEE Challenges Rollback of Fuel-Efficiency Standards for Light- Duty Vehicles

Posted by Jeff Dennis and Hope Jones

Mar 5, 2019 2:44:22 PM

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Amid the controversy surrounding the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rollback of greenhouse gas emissions standards for light-duty vehicles, AEE filed an amicus brief in support of petitions brought by 17 states, the District of Columbia, and others in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit seeking to halt EPA’s efforts. In a first for the organization, AEE and its members chose to weigh in on this issue in court because EPA’s actions ignore overwhelming realities about the availability of cost-effective technologies to reduce automobile emissions, particularly the burgeoning electric vehicles (EV) market.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Advanced Transportation

Here’s How the New Congress Can Boost Advanced Energy and Grow the Economy

Posted by Dylan Reed

Feb 5, 2019 4:00:00 PM

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Energy policy has taken center stage in the new Congress. And not only there: Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercial showed millions of Americans that the answer to our energy future is blowing in the wind. As if on cue, both the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committees will hold hearings this week to hear from experts in the energy industry, environmental advocacy, and think tanks on climate change, clean energy, and innovation in the energy sector. On top of that, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) are expected to release the first draft outlining specifics of the proposed Green New Deal, which has gained national attention, though the path forward for it remains unclear.

While climate change is getting new attention, there is little appetite on the Hill for moving a large legislative proposal. Instead, we expect Congress to prioritize energy infrastructure legislation over the next two years, while coming up with longer term strategies on climate for the future. With that in mind, AEE submitted its list of policy priorities to the 116th Congress, recommending four areas where the legislative branch can take action over the next two years to support advanced energy growth.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update

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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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