Tag Archives: decarbonizing the grid

New FERC Chair’s Focus: Environmental Justice and Climate Change Impacts

By Jeff St. John, Greentech Media

 

Richard Glick has a long list of priorities for his chairmanship of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He has already outlined many of them, such as reforming energy market policies that restrict state-supported clean energy resources, expanding transmission capacity and unblocking new grid interconnections, and incorporating climate change impacts into the agency’s decision-making process. Continue reading here.

 

ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE 

Severe weather, blackouts show the grid’s biggest problem is infrastructure, not renewables

GRID RESILIENCE: GRIDTECH MEDIA

In the near future, the scale of the batteries serving U.S. power grids is set to explode, increasing from about 1.5 gigawatts today to tens or hundreds of gigawatts by 2030. These batteries will play a vital role in shifting intermittent wind and solar power from when it’s produced to when it’s needed and serving broader grid services needs on an increasingly decarbonizing grid.

But as a resource that can both absorb and discharge energy at a moment’s notice, batteries are very different from both dispatchable generators and intermittent wind and solar farms. That requires new technical and economic systems for managing and valuing them — and the grid operators that run wholesale electricity markets serving about two-thirds of the country are struggling to make those changes to keep up with the pace of growth.

Two former state utility commissioners highlight new modeling that shows distributed energy lowers the total costs of decarbonization: Anne Hoskins served on the Maryland Public Service Commission and is the chief policy officer at Sunrun. Jeanne Fox, a former president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, is also a co-founder and board member of Center for Renewable Integration, Inc.

When planning for future resource investments, most utilities and regulators approach grid and system planning in silos, using tools and models that aren’t equipped to consider the total cost and benefits of distributed energy resources. This has been the case for many decades. For the first time, a team of researchers led by Christopher Clack looked at the holistic grid and incorporated local solar into grid and system planning. The model that Clack used calculated a least-cost development plan for the grid. The results are striking.

NASEO-NARUC TASK FORCE ON COMPREHENSIVE ELECTRICITY PLANNING 

The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) are providing a forum for the development of state-led pathways toward a more resilient, efficient, and affordable grid. – NARUC Website

 

 

 

 

Twelve States Announce Action Steps to Plan for Grid of the Future: State Energy Groups Release Blueprint for State Action for a More Efficient, Customer-Centric Grid

New, more comprehensive approaches to electricity planning can optimize use of distributed and existing energy resources, avoid unnecessary costs to customers, support state policy priorities, and increase transparency of grid-related investment decisions. The Task Force Roadmaps for Comprehensive Electricity Planning are accompanied by a Blueprint for State Action to support states and stakeholders who were not members of the Task Force in aligning electricity system planning processes in ways that meet their own goals and objectives. To learn more about the Task Force and access the new resources, click the link, below.

 

 

 

Task Force on Comprehensive Electricity Planning

Electricity Planning for a 21st Century Power Grid
Emerging technologies, decreasing costs, consumer preferences, new energy service providers, and state and local efforts are driving significant growth in distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar, storage, energy efficiency, demand management, and microgrids. These investments increasingly require regulatory and policy innovation and a greater emphasis on planning to overcome system complexities and avoid unnecessary costs associated with operating the grid.

With greater alignment of resource and distribution system planning, states and utilities could:

  • Improve grid reliability and resilience
  • Optimize use of distributed and existing energy resources
  • Avoid unnecessary costs to ratepayers
  • Support state policy priorities
  • Increase the transparency of grid-related investment decisions

Previously Posted

  • Nebraska needs overall plan for energy policies, Lincoln Journal Star, November 4, 2015
    [Former] Nebraska’s Energy Office director says the state needs a comprehensive approach to its energy policies as it faces what could be a “seismic” change in federal regulations governing emissions. David Bracht, Gov. Pete Ricketts’ chief adviser on energy issues, talked about state energy policies Wednesday at the eighth annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference in Omaha
  • 2011 Nebraska Energy Plan, National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO)

Recently Posted

Facebook and Google: Utilities Must Take Lead on Grid Decarbonization

By Emma Foehringer Merchant, Greentech Media

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Utilities, not green-minded corporations, need to lead on decarbonizing the grid, said executives at Google and Facebook. Corporate procurement now ranks among the top drivers of large-scale U.S. renewables purchases. But it’s not the long-term answer to clean energy deployment, the technology executives said Thursday, speaking at an event hosted by the American Council on Renewable Energy. They’d rather see large market shifts than an emphasis on voluntary corporate renewables goals. Google and Facebook are currently the nation’s largest corporate buyers of renewable power in 2019 and among the largest in the world. Read more here.

Google Photo: Data center operators are driving demand for renewable power around the world. 

Additional Recommended Reading

Corporate leaders: It’s time to lead on climate policy, by Mindy Lubber, CEO and president of the nonprofit Ceres. At this vital moment in the global climate crisis, corporate leadership on climate policy is a top priority. This week, I joined ten other executives of leading nonprofit organizations in an open letter calling on corporate CEOs to use their voice, their global platforms, their credibility, and their networks to support a policy agenda to get us to net-zero emissions by 2050. That is the goal that scientists say is necessary to limit global warming and avoid unprecedented damage to our planet, our economy and our communities. 

Ceres is one of the cofounders of We Are Still In, a coalition of more than 3500 investors, companies, mayors, governors, college presidents and other leaders committed to U.S. action on climate change.

RE100 Update: 204 influential businesses, including Google and Facebook, have made a commitment to 100% renewable energy. A growing number of RE100 members also are driving their global supply chains to transition to clean energy.

REBA: Google and Facebook are also members of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy by 2025, and expand the number of organizations buying clean power from dozens today to tens of thousands. REBA’s Vision & Initiatives.

Recommended Viewing
What is REBA?, Two-minute video by REBA on Vimeo.

Out ahead on solar energy, Minnesota engineer is still pushing to speed up change

 By Neal St. Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune

John Dunlop launched his renewable-energy career amid oil embargos and the fledgling environmental movement of the 1970s. The 45-year renewable-energy pioneer, who’s an engineer and physicist, drives an electric-powered vehicle, lives modestly, speaks softly but authoritatively about the growing promise of a low-carbon economy increasingly powered by wind, sun and smart technology. His fact-based view has been vindicated. We face a tremendous environmental challenge and economic opportunity. Dunlop will chair the annual national conference of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) in Bloomington this week.
Continue reading here.

About American Solar Energy Society
Established in 1954, the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) advocates for sustainable living and 100% renewable energy by sharing information, events and resources to cultivate community and power progress. ASES integrates the perspectives of science, industry, policy and citizens. We believe knowledge and community are a powerful combination for change. Our members look to us to sustain the culture required to achieve a 100% renewable energy future. Through our programs, Solar Today magazineASES Solar ConferencesASES National Solar Tour, and Tiny Watts, we engage individuals, businesses and partnering groups to advance these possibilities.

Report puts $4.5 trillion price tag on grid decarbonization

By Ethan Howland, American Public Power Association

“Wood Mackenzie concludes that [100 percent renewable energy] goals remain largely aspirational, but attainable given a reasonable time horizon to allow for technology development, regulatory realignment and socio-economic reforms,” the consulting firm said in a report released in late June. The report comes as states like California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, New York, Washington and the District of Columbia have adopted 100 percent renewable and clean energy goals and mandates, generally in the 2050 timeframe.

In summary — excluding supply chain impacts and other items, such as stranded costs — an investment of $4.5 trillion would be required to fully transition the US power grid to renewables over the next 10 to 20 years, which implies an investment of roughly $225 to $450 billion a year, a scale comparable to the total US defense budget. Read more here.

FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES

  • According to the International Monetary Fund, the United States subsidizes fossil fuels at a cost of $649 billion a year.
  • United States Spend Ten Times More On Fossil Fuel Subsidies Than Education, Forbes
    IMF leader Christine Lagarde has noted that the investments made into fossil fuels could be better spent elsewhere, and could have far reaching positive impacts: “There would be more public spending available to build hospitals, to build roads, to build schools and to support education and health for the people. We believe that removing fossil fuel subsidies is the right way to go.”

DECARBONIZING THE GLOBAL ECONOMY GAINING MOMENTUM

COUNTRIES & REGIONS LEADING THE WAY