Advanced Energy Perspectives

Advanced Energy Buyers Group Brings Voice of the Customer to Solar Trade Case and Grid Pricing Proposal

Posted by Caitlin Marquis

Nov 8, 2017 11:00:00 AM

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Just over a month ago, AEE launched a new group of advanced energy users, called the Advanced Energy Buyers Group, led by member companies including Microsoft, Amazon, Walmart, and others. The concept is simple: Just as AEE is the business voice of advanced energy, the Advanced Energy Buyers Group serves as the policy voice of energy users. In practice, that means the Buyers Group will weigh in on a range of energy policy issues that matter to companies on the customer side of the meter, specifically on behalf of companies seeking ways to increase their use of advanced energy.

In the month since its launch, the Buyers Group has kept busy on two high profile issues, both with big implications for large consumers: the Section 201 Solar Trade Case now before the U.S. International Trade Commission and the “Grid Pricing Rule” proposed by the Department of Energy late last month and under consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Let’s dig in.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update

House Tax Bill Offers, Undermines Market Certainty for Advanced Energy Companies

Posted by Dylan Reed

Nov 3, 2017 4:00:00 PM

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Yesterday, House Republican leaders released the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” which is intended to create a better tax and business climate. As a business association, AEE supports efforts to create a better business and tax system for the United States, and this proposal includes some provisions that could be beneficial. Unfortunately, several provisions directly target the advanced energy industry, particularly wind power and electric vehicles, for loss of tax benefits.

The House has announced plans to move quickly on this package, with a hearing scheduled for Monday, Nov. 6, in the Ways and Means Committee. The Senate is also expected to release its own proposal, which will likely differ on key provisions related to the advanced energy industry. We are actively working with Congress and our allies to ensure that the advanced energy industry is not harmed by this and any future tax package.

While still reviewing the 429-page bill, we can see that the advanced energy industry was not ignored by Congress in this high priority, and highly controversial, piece of legislation. But let’s be clear: AEE will fight to make sure that any tax measure approved by Congress recognizes the full value of the advanced energy industry, now a $200 billion industry supporting more than 3 million jobs across the United States.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update

FERC Should Just Say ‘No’ to Bailout Without Benefit for Costly, Uncompetitive Power Plants, at Consumer Expense

Posted by Bob Keough

Oct 27, 2017 11:23:50 AM

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When the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s long-awaited staff report on grid reliability came out in August, a lot of observers didn’t know what to make of it. In the long run-up to the report’s release, we at AEE had worked with our fellow industry groups AWEA, SEIA, and ACORE to challenge the premise of the study as ordered by Secretary Rick Perry, which was that the electric power system was in jeopardy due to the “premature” retirement of baseload power plants – namely coal and nuclear. When the report came out, it largely vindicated our view that cheap natural gas and slow load growth, not renewable energy policies, were forcing uneconomic power plants out of business, and that the changing mix of resources was being managed reliably by grid operators.

This led some observers to call the report a “rorschach test,” allowing anyone to read into it anything they’d like, or even a “nothingburger” (check out the URL to this analysiss). But we at AEE saw in it just enough grounds for proposing out-of-market financial supports for these uncompetitive power plants that would turn electricity markets upside down – and our CEO Graham Richards said so, in a statement picked up by The New York Times. Lo and behold, on Sept. 30 DOE submitted a proposed rule to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) doing just that, and on an accelerated timeline. Since then, a broad-based coalition of industry groups – call them “strange bedfellows” – has been fighting back against this wrongheaded, costly, and unnecessary bailout of failing power plants.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update, regulation

Before Supportive Congressional Committee, AEE Makes the Case for Technology Neutrality, Citing Grid and Consumer Benefits

Posted by Dylan Reed

Oct 6, 2017 1:30:00 PM

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Over the past week, the energy industry has been rocked by the release of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) from the Department of Energy (DOE) to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that, if implemented, would upend the wholesale electricity markets where advanced energy is thriving. AEE is deeply involved in this proceeding, and has joined with a diverse group of energy industry associations to express concern about the aggressive timeline for this rulemaking called for by DOE. But while DOE pushes for a quick action on its radical proposal, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is undertaking a thoughtful series of hearings, entitled Powering America, on electricity and the role of the federal government for energy policy. Last week, AEE was asked to testify, and took the opportunity to explain how technology innovation, declining costs, and consumer preference are driving growth of the advanced energy industry – and will do so even more, if the nation’s electricity markets are open for competition from all technologies.

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Topics: Federal Policy Update

5 Findings in the Leaked Draft We Will Be Looking for When DOE Releases its Final Report

Posted by Arvin Ganesan

Jul 20, 2017 7:01:00 PM

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Late last week, Bloomberg reporters unearthed a draft of the grid reliability study ordered by Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and pointed out contradictions between the DOE draft and Trump Administration statements, which called coal generation key to electric system reliability, and blaming policies favoring renewable energy for “premature” retirement of “baseload” generating resources like coal and nuclear energy. In response, a spokesperson for DOE simply said the report is “constantly evolving,” and when it comes to the passages cited by Bloomberg, “those statements as written are not in the current draft.” So we’ve done our own read of the leaked draft. We see five broad findings, with specific language from DOE’s internal experts justifying those findings, that capture the reality of today’s changing, but robust, power grid, as we see it. The question is: Will they make it into the final report?

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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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