Can California’s Corporate Customers Get ‘Direct Access’ to Renewable Energy? CPUC Staff Report Says…Maybe

Posted by Noah Garcia and Caitlin Marquis on Nov 11, 2020 12:03:44 PM

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For years, large companies in California have been calling for expansion of Direct Access (DA), California’s limited retail choice program for commercial and industrial customers. Retail choice allows customers to shop around, rather than relying on their local electric utility. It also allows large customers to meet sustainability commitments by procuring more renewable energy than the utility provides. Such corporate purchases have driven development of renewable energy in markets that allow retail competition, and for that reason AEE and the Advanced Energy Buyers Group have jointly supported the expansion of DA in California. That expansion could be coming, if recommendations contained in a California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) report on extending DA to all nonresidential customers are acted upon by the California Legislature. But the expansion is more likely to happen – and happen faster – if some misplaced worries in the CPUC report were put to rest.

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Topics: State Policy Update, California Engagement, Advanced Energy Buyers Group

Clean energy is good economic policy for Michigan

Posted by Laura Sherman on Nov 4, 2020 10:05:48 AM

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This is a guest post by Laura Sherman, president of Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, an AEE state partner. The commentary was originally published by Energy News Network.  

Last month Gov. Gretchen Whitmer set a goal for Michigan to be carbon-neutral by 2050, a bold move that will bring more jobs and industry to the state. This executive order will continue to increase demand for innovative, business-driven solutions to reduce the impact of climate change. But three decades is a long time, so it may be difficult to imagine how achieving this goal will change Michigan’s economy.

Fortunately, though, we do not have to look out into the distant future to see how increasing the use of renewable energy, battery technology to store energy, electric vehicles (EVs) and energy efficiency—some of the advanced energy technologies that will be most important to achieving carbon neutrality—can deliver economic benefits. We can measure the economic growth and jobs that these energy innovations have already brought to Michigan and can continue to bring—not in 10, 20 or 30 years, but right now.

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Topics: State Policy Update, Guest Post, Advanced Energy Employment, Economic Impact

Federal Stimulus Investment in Advanced Energy – Here’s What It Would Mean for Eight States

Posted by Aidan Boyd on Oct 29, 2020 11:00:00 AM

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Whether the United States has “turned the corner” on the COVID-19 public health crisis or is looking at a long, cold winter of social distancing, at some point the conversation in Washington, D.C., is going to have to move from providing short-term relief to jumpstarting economic growth. When that time comes, advanced energy deserves to be high on the list for federal stimulus dollars. Public support is high: A recent New York Times/Siena poll shows that more than 70% of voters would support a $2 trillion renewable energy and infrastructure plan for economic stimulus. What would an infusion of stimulus funds like that mean for states? AEE, along with Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA), asked Analysis Group, an international economics consultancy, to run the numbers for eight states. The results show a high ROI for public dollars put to work in advanced energy.

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Topics: State Policy Update, Advanced Energy Employment, Economic Impact

Florida Legislative Candidates Hear About Potential for Advanced Energy Growth in EVs, Solar Energy

Posted by Ebo Entsuah on Sep 29, 2020 2:01:31 PM

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Every four years, Americans turn their eyes to Florida as a crucial swing state in presidential elections. Here at AEE, we also pay attention to the election cycle in the Sunshine State, but this year our eyes are on the state legislature. Two years ago, AEE met with gubernatorial contenders from both parties – including the eventual winner, Gov. Ron DeSantis – to tell them about the opportunity of advanced energy for Florida. This year, AEE spent the heat of a Florida summer holding virtual meetings between member companies and candidates running for the state legislature to show how advanced energy can create jobs for the Florida economy, bring consumers more options – whether for solar power or electric vehicles – and lower the cost of energy for businesses and households.

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Topics: State Policy Update, Advanced Transportation, Candidate Education 2020

In Texas, Legislative Candidates Hear About DERs, EVs, Storage

Posted by Suzanne Bertin and Erica Glenn on Sep 21, 2020 5:30:04 PM

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TAEBA members hold a virtual meeting with Rep. Four Price, a candidate for re-election to the Texas House of Representatives, top left.

Texas is the national leader in energy. As the undisputed leader in wind generating capacity with an interconnection queue stacked with almost exclusively wind, solar, and energy storage, and with billions of market potential available for distributed energy resources such as solar, demand response, storage, and electric vehicles, advanced energy is poised to play a key role in accelerating economic recovery, building a more resilient Texas, fostering market competition, and lowering customer electricity bills. Next year, as in all odd-numbered years, the Texas Legislature will meet for 140 days starting on the second Tuesday in January to consider the state’s regular business. The Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA) will be actively engaged in the legislative session, working to expand opportunities for advanced energy in 2021. But we recognize that policymakers need to learn more about the many benefits advanced energy can bring to Texas – and the best time to educate them is when they’re running for office.

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Topics: State Policy Update, Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance, Candidate Education 2020