Tag Archives: Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Kelly calls for public power to address three critical issues

By Susan Partain, American Public Power Association Blog

In her keynote at the American Public Power Association’s 2019 National Conference on June 10, Association President and CEO Sue Kelly urged public power utility executives to focus on what she called the industry’s three greatest challenges: customers’ increasing use of technology, cyber and physical security, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Kelly cautioned that if public power utilities do not face these challenges head on, “we could lose our customers’ business and risk being disrupted—indeed, we could be left behind.”  Conversely, Kelly said tackling these challenges can help public power “become shining examples of nimble, customer-focused and respected twenty-first century utilities.” For each challenge, Kelly laid out the landscape and offered advice on how utilities can take them on. Continue reading here.

Additional Recommended Reading
A Vision for Midwest Zero-Carbon Power Starts to Takes Shape, Natural Resources Defense Council 

Clean energy groups bring models to a modeling fight

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

In states with a weak renewables standard, or none at all, a key battle over an electric utility’s solar deployment plan is fought in a regulatory proceeding triggered by the utility’s filing of an integrated resource plan (IRP)—at least in the 33 states that require utility IRPs.

In theory, to develop an IRP, a utility uses an optimization model that spits out the least-cost mix of future generation resources to meet projected demand, plus a reserve margin.  As prices for solar, wind, and storage fall, you would expect to see these plans reflecting an increasing percentage of renewable generation. Yet a utility controls the inputs to the model, and selects which scenarios to consider, so it can skew the model results in ways that disadvantage solar and other clean energy resources. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Rob Davis, Fresh Energy 

Understanding IRPs: How Utilities Plan for the Future, AEE Blog

William Driscoll, MPA, JD, is an energy and environmental policy analyst who has worked primarily for the United States Environmental Protection Agency via the firm ICF Consulting.
More articles from William Driscoll

Study: Using EVs Instead of Stationary Batteries Could Save Billions

Guest Post, Microgrid Knowledge

NRDC’s Pamela MacDougall and Vignesh Gowrishankar report on new energy storage research that indicates that using EVs for grid storage instead of stationary batteries could save electricity customers billions of dollars.

study recently published by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) shows that the electric vehicles (EVs) expected in California in 2025 could be used to meet the majority of the Golden State’s energy storage mandate that calls for 1.3 gigawatts (GW) of battery capacity by 2024. In fact, EVs can accomplish this both reliably and at about one-tenth the cost of stationary energy storage approaches. This level of storage could power nearly one million average homes, at least for a short while. That EVs can be this valuable to the grid is a hugely significant finding. Read more here.

Image Credit: Jessica Russo, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

 ALSO PUBLISHED BY MICROGRID KNOWLEDGE

Energy Storage: A Critical Player in a Cleaner Grid

Expert Blog by Elizabeth Noll and Arjun Krishnaswami
Natural Resources Defense Council

When it comes to truly transformative energy technologies, energy storage should be on the short list. While it feels like there is never any good news these days, energy storage is shattering records, meeting milestones, and writing its own good-news story.

Because of its many benefits, states, utilities, and even big corporations are increasingly interested in investing in energy storage. Lawmakers are also interested in the opportunities energy storage presents. The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce committee has announced the latest installment in their “Powering America” hearing series: The Role of Energy Storage in the Nation’s Electricity System for Wednesday July 18. Members of Congress will examine the growth of large-scale energy storage in the United States, the unique reliability attributes energy storage provides for the electric grid, and the use and impacts of energy storage within wholesale electricity markets. Continue here. 

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Ten New U.S. Cities Join the City Energy Project to Cut Climate Pollution from Buildings

City Energy: A Joint Project of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT)

cityengergy-logo

Now comprising 20 cities, by 2030 the project could save more than $1.5 billion annually and reduce climate pollution equivalent to taking 2 million cars off the road for a year. The City Energy Project is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. These funders have invested an additional $10.5 million to expand the projects to the ten new cities, which include three in the Midwest: Des Moines, St. Louis and St. Paul. Click to read more.

Clean Energy Investments Pay Off Big Time, New Study Shows

By Ralph Cavanagh, Natural Resources Defense Council

NRDCSome have contended that driving down climate-altering carbon pollution inevitably means hefty cost penalties for utility customers, as renewable energy and energy efficiency replace fossil-fueled power plants (many on the verge of extreme old age), but my former NRDC colleague Sierra Martinez’s just-published study, Cleaning Up Our Act on Energy and Reaping the Benefits,” shows the exact opposite. The report finds that the states that most conspicuously failed to invest in clean energy, including renewable energy and energy efficiency, are paying for it with both higher electricity bills and greater amounts of power plant pollution emissions from fossil fuel-fired electricity generation. Read the entire article here.

Reports: Cutting carbon can benefit low-income ratepayers

By Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

Low-income residents’ health and pocketbooks are disproportionately affected by burning fossil fuels, and they stand to benefit the most as states comply with federal carbon regulations, according to two new reports released last week.

Those findings run counter to coal industry campaigns suggesting the opposite — that low-income residents are facing rate increases as states and utilities comply with the Clean Power Plan, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Continue reading here.

Links to the two reports featured in the article:
Bridging the Clean Energy Divide: Affordable Clean Energy Solutions for Today and Tomorrow
Clean Energy Brings Health, Savings and Jobs to Low-Income Michigan Communities