Advanced Energy Perspectives

Will Clean Energy Commitments Lead to a Regional Market in the West?

Posted by Sarah Steinberg and Coley Girouard

Feb 5, 2020 11:52:43 AM

Western Blog Final 2

As momentum builds for clean energy, the Western states are leading by example. From California to Colorado, Washington to New Mexico, states have set ambitious goals, and are now starting to figure out how to meet them. Suddenly, the notion of a regional power grid, instead of the electric power system managed state by state, has growing appeal in the independent-minded West. Could regionalizing the grid help these states reach their goals? And if so, what would a regional power market look like? AEE has put forward some principles to contribute to the conversation. 

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System, Wholesale Markets

How to Keep the Lights on in the Era of 100% Clean Energy Targets

Posted by Ryan Katofsky

Jan 30, 2020 11:44:23 AM

Resource adequacy 100%-730

If you’re looking for big trends to watch in electricity markets, there’s no shortage these days. Some are broad policy issues, like the growing number of states targeting 100% clean grids (definitions vary but they are all directionally similar). Others are being driven by technology innovation, such as the continuing price declines for renewable energy and batteries. Some have a strong consumer focus, like smart thermostats and electric vehicles. Others are downright wonky, like the ongoing challenges related to the participation of distributed energy resources (DERs) in organized wholesale markets, or how states are trying to modernize the utility business model for the 21st century. One that we’ll look at today is how state policies to achieve 100% clean grids affect resource adequacy – that is, ensuring there is sufficient generating capacity to meet demand at all times.

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Topics: State Policy Update, 21st Century Electricity System, Wholesale Markets

Market Briefs Shed Light on the Benefits of DERs and Energy Storage in Wholesale Markets

Posted by Prusha Hasan and Dylan Reed

Jan 22, 2020 5:57:03 PM

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Last August, thunderstorms in the United Kingdom triggered a loss of power generation that left 1.1 million consumers fumbling for a flashlight. As trains halted and traffic slowed, 475 MW of energy storage began discharging. A combination of batteries and other generators worked together to take 1 GW of demand off the system. In less than four minutes, grid frequency was returned to normal and power returned to customers. Blackouts are not particular to the UK. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Americans lose approximately $150 billion to power outages each year. What’s less common is the use of advanced energy technologies like energy storage and distributed energy resources to increase reliability and keep the lights on. But that could change, if these technologies were allowed to compete in wholesale electricity markets on the basis of price and performance. Two new market briefs from AEE demonstrate why they should.

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Topics: Wholesale Markets

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

Jan 8, 2020 10:19:47 AM

FERC PJM MOPR blog post-730

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 Update, Wholesale Markets

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

Posted by Dylan Reed

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 Update, Wholesale Markets

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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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