5 Steps for States to Keep Advanced Energy Progress on Track

Posted by Hannah Polikov on May 18, 2020 3:44:43 PM

Covid Steps for States-730

The numbers are staggering: 33 million Americans have lost their jobs since the start of the COVID pandemic, including nearly 600,000 in the advanced energy industry. And by the end of June, that number could hit 850,000. That would be nearly a quarter of the 3.6 million advanced energy jobs that existed at the start of the year – a time when advanced energy was a $238 billion a year industry in the United States, with employment that was growing nearly twice as fast as U.S. employment overall. For those of us who work in the industry, we know the new reality all too well, as emails bounce back not with “out of office,” but rather “no longer works here” or “has been furloughed.” It’s heartbreaking. But there are things state policymakers – especially governors and public utility commissioners – can do to prevent advanced energy business from coming to a complete halt during the public health crisis, and keep the advanced energy industry in a position to aid the economic recovery that follows. Here we lay out five ways state policymakers could do just that.

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Topics: PUCs, 21st Century Electricity System, Regulatory, Advanced Energy Employment

FPL’s SolarTogether Points Florida toward a Sunnier Future

Posted by Gloria Li and Dylan Reed on Apr 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

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Florida, the Sunshine State, has always had good reason to develop solar power, but has still lagged behind other states. More recently, the case for Florida solar has strengthened even more. The price of solar has fallen by 36% in Florida over the last five years. This low-cost, fixed-price resource is particularly attractive to companies with commitments to renewable energy, including General Electric and Disney, while cities like Orlando, Sarasota, and Tallahassee that have established 100% renewable energy targets. Despite the economics of solar and commitments from companies and municipalities, Florida has not taken the lead on solar. The recent approval of a major solar program for customers of one utility will not do it all, but it’s a good start.

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, utility, Regulatory, Advanced Energy Buyers Group

Regulatory Roundup: Grid Modernization, Electric Transportation, Cloud Computing, and More Continue – Remotely

Posted by Ryan Katofsky on Apr 15, 2020 1:13:05 PM

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I’m sure you don’t need another blog telling you how COVID-19 has changed everything. While I won’t be able to fully avoid some of that here, read on if you want to know what is still happening at some of the state utility commissions around the country where AEE is actively engaged. My colleagues and I are used to traveling to state capitals to engage in regulatory proceedings, and while that obviously isn’t possible, commissions have transitioned much of their work online. There’s some good news here, and if you are like me, you can use all the good news you can get.

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Topics: PUCs, 21st Century Electricity System, Regulatory

Why a Bandage Fix for Cost-Effectiveness Testing Isn’t Enough


Rip Off Band-Aid

This is a guest post by Adam Scheer (Recurve), Jake Millette and Olivia Patterson (Opinion Dynamics), and Julie Michals (E4TheFuture)

Driven by advancing technologies and by policies that are evolving to both mitigate and adapt to climate change, the energy industry is changing at a breakneck pace. On the demand side, our fundamental challenge is moving beyond siloed programs into scaled demand flexibility to achieve states’ priorities such as grid resilience, resource adequacy, and decarbonization, amidst increasing electrification. Critically, scaling distributed energy resources (DERs) to meet a host of policy goals will require that we leverage limited ratepayer dollars to cultivate as much energy efficiency (EE) and other DER investment as possible. The question is: are cost-effectiveness (CE) testing practices developed decades ago adequate to guide our industry investments today? In our experience, legacy CE practices are inhibiting both innovative program designs and commonsense best practices for putting ratepayer dollars to optimal use.

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Topics: Guest Post, 21st Century Electricity System, utility, Regulatory, Energy Efficiency

Big Businesses’ Appetite for Renewable Energy in Florida is Growing, and Solar is on the Menu

Posted by Gloria Li on Dec 17, 2019 4:15:00 PM

Florida Buyers solar-730

Florida is, in many ways, a state powered by sunshine. From the endless summer that attracts droves of tourists and drives the associated $67 billion tourism industry to the sun-loving crops that allow Florida to lead the Southeast in agriculture, Floridians have the ready availability of sunlight to thank for the state’s most prominent industries. Now, there is another way that the Sunshine State could capitalize on its solar resource – to feed its commercial and industrial powerhouses, producing jobs and investment along with energy that’s low-cost and clean. 

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, Regulatory, Advanced Energy Buyers Group