Advanced Energy Perspectives

What Congress Can Learn from Texas about Heat Waves and Competitive Markets

Posted by Dylan Reed

Nov 28, 2018 11:30:00 AM

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Image courtesy of Chrishna and used under a Creative Commons license.

Severe weather events – whether hurricanes, wildfires, cold snaps, or heat waves – increasingly play a role in the lives of Americans. While extreme weather creates all sorts of problems, high on the list is the stress they put on the electric grid. Prior to this year, the 2014 Polar Vortex has been pointed to by those concerned about the ability of the electric grid to withstand severe weather events, and we’ve noted how wind and demand response helped keep the lights on during that cold snap. But in 2018, it was an expected heat wave in Texas that loomed as a potential threat to the grid. Would the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator that relies more on market principles than any other in the country, be able to keep on the lights? The answer turned out to be yes – with lessons that could prove instructive to the 116th Congress when it convenes in January.  

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Topics: Wholesale Markets, Federal Policy Update

Five Takeaways for Advanced Energy From Last Week’s Election

Posted by Dylan Reed and J.R. Tolbert

Nov 13, 2018 1:00:00 PM

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One week after the election, we can confidently say that Americans from all walks of the political spectrum were energized to vote. It was the largest turnout in a midterm election in 50 years, with over 110 million ballots cast across the country. As we look to what this means for the industry, it is clear that Americans want their elected leaders to prioritize advanced energy policy at both the state and federal level. New market and policy opportunities emerge at the state and federal level from the election results. Here are AEE’s top five takeaways on the election and what it means for advanced energy.

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Topics: Gubernatorial Engagement 2018, Federal Policy Update, State Policy Update

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 25, 2018 3:53:59 PM

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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: Wholesale Markets, 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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