Advanced Energy Perspectives

No ACE in the Hole: EPA Rule Would Force States on Narrow, Costly Path – Potentially Disrupting Markets for Advanced Energy

Posted by Caitlin Marquis

Sep 19, 2018 11:35:00 AM

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Photo by Alan Stark, used under a Creative Commons license

With the Trump Administration clear on its intentions to repeal and replace the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan (CPP), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on August 21 finally released its "Affordable Clean Energy" proposal. Given the name, one might expect the so-called ACE rule to lean on current market trends toward low- and non-emitting advanced energy technologies, such as natural gas, solar, wind, and energy efficiency, on the basis of cost. That’s what the CPP attempted to do, doubling down on these trends and allowing states to design compliance plans using market-based trading to find the lowest-cost paths to compliance. ACE, in contrast, takes a hard turn away from lower-cost advanced energy options and market-based trading in favor of old-fashioned command-and-control regulation that would only allow costly investments at existing coal-fired power plants—which is bad news for consumers and the advanced energy industry alike.  

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, EPA GHG Regs

How Congress Can Help Advanced Energy Modernize the Grid

Posted by Dylan Reed and Charles Hernick

Aug 8, 2018 2:00:00 PM

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The energy sector is currently undergoing a massive transformation as dynamic technologies change the way customers receive and use electricity. This change has brought economic growth to the United States, with the advanced energy industry burgeoning to $200 billion in annual revenue to support more than 3 million jobs. Dozens of states have already taken notice of the advanced energy opportunity – and taken advantage, whether by comprehensive legislation, as in Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia, or by reducing barriers to technologies, as Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York have done. Despite the progress being made, some policy hurdles remain for advanced energy. That’s why AEE and CRES Forum teamed up to write a policy paper outlining five ways Congress can modernize the grid.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update

$34 Billion – or More – is Too High a Price to Pay for Power Plants that are Not Needed

Posted by Dylan Reed and Maria Robinson

Jul 26, 2018 9:02:34 AM

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What is the price of political cronyism? High, when it comes to paying power plants that are not needed to keep the lights on, just to exist. But that is what the Trump Administration is apparently getting ready to do. Or at least trying to do – an earlier attempt to do so was rejected by regulators, most of them appointees of President Trump. Not taking no for an answer, the Administration has decided to go bigger, with a bigger price tag. How much bigger? That’s what we wanted to find out.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Wholesale Markets

Latest Trump Administration Plan to Prop Up Failing Power Plants Leaves Many Questions Unanswered but Bottom Line is the Same: High Cost for No Benefit

Posted by Dylan Reed and Maria Robinson

Jun 13, 2018 3:39:48 PM

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In what feels like a never-ending showing of the movie Groundhog Day, the Trump Administration is yet again trying to bail out uneconomic power plants that are slated for retirement. This time, it looks like the Administration is using a national security approach to justify its attempt to help major campaign donor Bob Murray’s failing coal business. But once again, within the broader energy industry, the reaction against this latest scheme has been strong, with AEE fully engaged. 

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Wholesale Markets

Changing Trade Rules Can Help the U.S. Economy, but Tariffs on Advanced Energy Products Would Hurt

Posted by Dylan Reed

May 11, 2018 2:52:46 PM

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Chinese container ship unloading at Charleston, S.C. Photo by Mr.TinDC used under a Creative Commons license

From his first campaign speech to the first 15 months of his Administration, President Trump has made changing the terms of U.S trade deals a central priority, and in 2018 he has proposed a variety of tariffs. In particular, tariffs on Chinese imports have been one of the major trade policies put forward by the Administration. Most analysts have focused on the tariff impacts on particular products, such as steel and aluminum, or how potential retaliatory tariffs from China could impact American interests, such as agriculture.

Unfortunately, advanced energy will be impacted too. In comments to the U.S. Trade Representative, we outline the impacts of proposed tariffs on advanced energy products such as smart thermostats, electric vehicles, and wind turbine components. AEE believes the Administration is taking important steps to combat unfair trade practices by China, but we are also concerned that imposing tariffs on certain products will hurt the advanced energy industry and consumers, without achieving the administration’s goals.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, Advanced Transportation

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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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