As 2021 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on the progress—and setbacks—that advanced energy experienced in state legislatures across the country this past year. For the most part, momentum around the clean energy and transportation transformation has continued to grow, with major wins that will drive unprecedented market growth for the industry. Still, some states dug in their heels to delay or block progress toward a 100% clean energy economy.
In most parts of the country, how utilities plan their distribution systems – the network of poles, wires and other equipment designed to support electricity delivery at the local level – is something of a “black box.” But now, with the continued proliferation of distributed energy resources (DERs) – ranging from rooftop solar to onsite battery storage and demand response – available to help manage electric supply and demand at the distribution level, that black box needs to be opened. Colorado is doing just that by joining a growing number of states that are implementing distribution system planning (DSP) rules for the first time.
ISO New England is Facing MOPR, Market & Transmission, and Governance Reform. What’s at Stake for Advanced Energy? Lots
With so much of the advanced energy industry’s focus on issues before FERC directed at the expanded Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) in PJM over the past few years, there has been relatively little attention placed on similar tension brewing in ISO New England (ISO-NE). But that tension was on full display at a FERC technical conference earlier this summer, and in comments filed in July. The list of big-ticket items up for debate in ISO-NE is long: reforming ISO-NE’s version of the MOPR, revising how capacity value is determined, pursuing long-term market reform and transmission planning reform, developing a plan for Order No. 2222 compliance, and exploring potential governance reforms are all top of mind for ISO-NE, the New England states, and stakeholders. For those who haven’t been following along at home, there’s a lot to catch up on, and the stakes are high: New England is poised to model what an RTO should look like in a 100% advanced energy future, but the decisions made in the next few years will determine whether that vision is realized.
Although 2021 is only halfway through, state utility regulators and regional grid operators have had their hands full considering issues at the cutting edge of the energy transition. How can utilities develop resource plans that align with state policy goals? How do all those mobile batteries in the growing fleet of electric vehicles (EVs) get integrated with the grid? How can customers be helped to make smarter energy decisions? These questions and more are on the docket in 2021, and Advanced Energy Economy has been tracking how regulators are tackling these complex issues. Even just halfway in, the regulatory trends from across the country suggest that 2021 will be another transformational year for advanced energy.
Since January, Advanced Energy Economy has been tracking hundreds of pieces of energy-related legislation filed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States Congress. With some sessions already over and some just beginning, a number of trends have begun to emerge. Of course, just getting filed does not mean a bill will become law, or even that it stands much of a chance at all. But the patterns that arise in our survey of filed bills, which is by no means exhaustive, say a lot about what’s on lawmakers’ minds. And of course, some bills are already on the move. In what follows, bills with an asterisk have passed one house of its legislature as of May 25; two asterisks means that the bill has passed both houses (click through to see if it has been signed into law). We’ll be back this fall to catch up on what legislation has made it all the way to gubernatorial desks. For now, here is a look at our top 10 energy issues generating legislative activity across the country.