With Nearly 600,000 Jobs Lost, the Time is Now for Congress to Aid Advanced Energy

Posted by Dylan Reed on May 13, 2020 2:02:10 PM

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In just two short months, the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the American economy. The unemployment rate has reached levels that the country has not seen since the Great Depression nearly 100 years ago. Congress and the Trump Administration have responded by providing trillions of dollars of immediate relief to businesses and households to avoid even worse impacts. But no action has been taken on a simple measure that could help save hundreds of thousands of advanced energy jobs that otherwise may never return. The time to act is now, because time is running out.

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Topics: Federal Policy, Advanced Energy Employment

At 3.6 Million Jobs in 2019, Advanced Energy Was Growing. Then the Pandemic Hit.

Posted by Bob Keough on Apr 22, 2020 5:04:55 PM

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Since 2016, the year when authoritative data first became available, we have been reporting the size and growth of employment in advanced energy on an annual basis. During that time, we have seen U.S. advanced energy jobs grow from 2.7 million in 2015 to 3.6 million in 2019. Each year the growth in advanced energy employment has outpaced growth in U.S. jobs overall, often by a factor of two or more. So it is with the latest numbers. But this is not like any other year. Rather, the job growth of last year is now overshadowed by the immediate job losses resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Now the critical jobs need is sustaining the industry during the lockdown – and making good on the employer expectations of growth coming into 2020 by driving the economic recovery to follow.

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Topics: Federal Policy, Advanced Energy Employment

How a New FERC Order Could Set Back Our Industry, Cost Consumers Money, and Turn the Tables on States that Want Advanced Energy

Posted by Dylan Reed and Jeff Dennis on Jan 8, 2020 10:19:47 AM

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A decision handed down by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on a seemingly obscure issue in one regional power market threatens to have far ranging impact on the cost of electricity, the future of state policy, and the ability for advanced energy to compete – and win, as it has been doing – in the marketplace. FERC’s policy change is purportedly intended to address the “price suppression” in competitive wholesale power markets allegedly caused by resources that are supported by state policies like renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and zero emission credit (ZEC) policies. But what FERC’s decision will actually do is limit the ability of advanced energy resources to participate in the nation’s largest electricity market, force customers from New Jersey to Ohio to pay twice for the generating capacity they need,  steer funds to existing coal and natural gas power plants that are otherwise redundant, and undermine state policies that are explicitly intended to promote advanced energy deployment. How it will do so is complicated, but potentially devastating to the advanced energy economy that has been steadily growing in the United States.

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Topics: Federal Policy, Wholesale Markets

How an Obscure Pricing Rule and Transmission Holdups Could Put Advanced Energy Resources on Ice

Posted by Dylan Reed on Nov 21, 2019 10:00:00 AM

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There are a couple of major issues currently before FERC and Congress that will impact advanced energy resources in wholesale markets. One of them is a decision expected from FERC soon after it regains a quorum of voting members that threatens to force operators of renewable energy facilities to artificially jack up their prices in a way that leaves them uncompetitive. The other, on which FERC has launched a proceeding but is also within congressional purview, involves building the transmission that is needed to get low-cost renewable energy to consumers. Here, and in two new wholesale market briefs, we explore the implications of these two issues for advanced energy resources, especially large-scale renewable energy development.

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Topics: Federal Policy, Wholesale Markets

What Would It Take to Get to a 100% Clean Energy Economy? AEE Offers Congress Its Perspective.

Posted by Dylan Reed on Nov 13, 2019 1:46:37 PM

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AEE's Jeff Dennis testifying before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Energy

Since Democrats won a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, the topic of deep decarbonization in the power sector has attracted more attention in our nation’s capital. While this topic has received the most attention through Members of Congress, most notably Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calling for a Green New Deal, many other policymakers across the political spectrum have put forward ideas on moving towards a decarbonized power sector. Most recently, Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce set a goal in July 2019 to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and have begun a series of hearings to gather feedback from stakeholders. In October, at a hearing entitled “Building a 100 Percent Clean Economy: Solutions for the U.S. Power Sector,” AEE was invited to testify on the role the advanced energy industry has played to date.

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Topics: Federal Policy, Wholesale Markets