Electricity Policy

Tue12062016

Last updateMon, 05 Dec 2016 7pm

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‘Lighting the World’— An Interview with Former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers

‘Lighting the World’— An Interview with Former Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers

By Leah Y Parks and James E. Rogers, Jr.

Electricity, lifeblood of modern society, is—or should be—a basic human right. There’s a business case to be made for bringing it to the 1.2 billion people who lack it. Everyone wins if we help lift kWh-poor economies and their people out of poverty.

EP:  What led you to start providing electricity to some of the world’s 1.2 billion people who don’t have it? 

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Merger Denied: Now What?

Merger Denied: Now What?

 By Scott Hempling

If the competition to buy a utility were first a competition to better serve the customer, the customers’ benefit would not be net zero as it commonly is. It would reflect what the winner had to offer to beat out its competitors. 

 

S

ince the modern electricity merger trend started in the mid-1980s, state commissions have approved nearly 100 electric utility acquisitions.  I have addressed this trend with a series of essays—sketches for a book I will complete in 2017.  The first essay (“Utility Mergers:  Who Has a Vision?”) introduced the problem.  Because mergers of monopolies are not disciplined by competitive market forces, regulatory policies must align merging companies' interests with the public interest.  They don't.  When no state has a clear vision for its corporate structure future, we get results that no one intended.  Consolidation among investor-owned utilities has reduced their number by half, while leaving many of our local utilities owned by conglomerates.  Electric utilities are no longer your grandparents’ nest eggs, removing a historically important option for conservative investors (and therefore a source of low-cost capital of benefit to consumers). 

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Searching for Sustainable Solar Policies

Searching for Sustainable Solar Policies

 By Barbara Lockwood

Far from being anti-solar, Arizona Public Service has pioneered with its customers and suppliers to bring the benefits of this clean, renewable energy source to all our customers in the fairest ways possible. 
A

s the very first person to hold the title of Renewable Energy Manager for Arizona Public Service (APS), I can attest to how far APS and Arizona have come in facilitating solar energy over the past decade.

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Surfing the EV Wave: Will We Smooth the Way?

Surfing the EV Wave: Will We Smooth the Way?

By Leah Parks

The pace of electric vehicle adoption may be faster or slower than we expect. But EVs catch buyers’ imaginations, with a ride and torque like no other car we’ve ever driven, we must be ready to integrate and make good use of them.
T

he age of electric vehicles has been slow to arrive, held down in part by buyers waiting for the technology to mature, for EV prices to come down, and for the cost of owning and operating oil-fueled vehicles to be less attractive.  But it is surely coming. 

 

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A Revolution in Power: Where We’ve Come from, Where We’re Headed

A Revolution in Power:  Where We’ve Come from, Where We’re Headed

By L. Lynne Kiesling and Dick Munson

State initiatives demonstrate a growing awareness that public policy must change to keep up with and encourage technological change. New players entering the industry are demonstrating the power of markets to stimulate investment and innovation. 
G

oogle used to be simply a leading internet search company, but it entered the electricity business by buying big blocks of renewable energy for its large data centers, and by acquiring Nest, the maker of smart thermostats and home devices. It sees opportunity and profits in using innovative technologies to help buildings better manage their energy use.

Click here to view article as fully-formatted PDF file.

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Electricity Daily

BNEF: The utility-scale solar market is tightening, increasing developer risk

BNEF: The utility-scale solar market is tightening, increasing developer risk

December 6, 2016 -- Competition in the utility-scale solar sector is heating up. The falling cost of PV panels and robust state renewable portfolio standards, plus the December 2015 extension of the investment tax credit for solar projects has led to a second solar projects boom. The result is that “there are more projects being developed than there is demand for them,” says Nathan Serota , senior a...

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Arizona RUCO report: As part of RPS, allocate solar a share of system peak

Arizona RUCO report: As part of RPS, allocate solar a share of system peak

A new report proposed by Arizona’s Residential Utility Consumer Office ( RUCO ) has suggested a change to the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that would have clean energy supply a portion of utility peak loads. In “ Evolving the RPS: A Clean Peak Standard for a Smarter Renewable Future ,” Strategen Consulting 's Lon Huber proposed a modification to Arizona’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that ...

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With reservations, resignation, Illinois Gov. Rauner to sign nuke bailout bill

With reservations, resignation, Illinois Gov. Rauner to sign nuke bailout bill

It was “the perils of Pauline.” It was Queen Victoria’s last second pardon of Macheath in Threepenny Opera. It was a last second “hail Mary” pass. On Wednesday, after months of sturm und drang , and last-minute carping about some surprise provisions of Senate Bill 2814, the Illinois legislature passed the bill by bipartisan vote on Dec.1. It was a massive bill few if any legislators could have read,...

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MISO independent market monitor Patton proposes new rule for wind plants

MISO independent market monitor Patton proposes new rule for wind plants

Midcontinent ISO Independent Market Monitor David Patton last week said some wind generators appear to be deliberately over-forecasting their output to inflate their revenues. Patton said wind units on average produced 146 MW less than their MISO dispatch instructions in 2015 and 2016 (excluding economic curtailments and manual redispatch), a higher deviation than any other resource class in the RTO,...

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USDOE issues presidential permit for 1,000-MW New England Power Link

USDOE issues presidential permit for 1,000-MW New England Power Link

TDI New England announced Monday the US Department of Energy ’s issuance of a Presidential Permit for the New England Clean Power Link, a 1,000 MW buried electric transmission line that will connect New England with Eastern Canada. A Presidential Permit is required for the construction, operation and maintenance of electric facilities connecting at the international borders of the US. In addition to ...

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Illinois’ rescue of two Exelon nuclear plants again at risk, from Rauner, suit

Illinois’ rescue of two Exelon nuclear plants again at risk, from Rauner, suit

December 5, 2016—It appears the bill the Illinois legislature passed on Thursday, Dec. 1, to save two Exelon nuclear plants and with help for renewables, energy efficiency, rate cap guarantees, again hangs in the balance. Senate Bill 2814 is awaiting the Gov. Bruce Rauner ’s signature—which was expected, given the governor’s late but decisive involvement in the furious negotiations—but the comprehensi...

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Editorials

The business opportunity in the effort to reverse climate change

The business opportunity in the effort to reverse climate change

What’s the cost of ignoring climate change? We’ve heard it all. Arctic melt. Sea rise and storm surges. Ocean warming and acidification. Loss of coastal and intertidal property and infrastructure—trillions of dollars lost. Millions dislocated. Prolonged drought in some areas, frequent flooding in others. Loss of sea life. Loss of many species.  And on and on.

It wouldn’t be pretty. That’s why ...

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The Name Game: A buffet menu of Trump’s choices for energy and environment

The Name Game: A buffet menu of Trump’s choices for energy and environment

By Kennedy Maize

The quadrennial Washington name game is underway, the whispered rumors and guesses, seldom well informed but promulgated with confidence, over whom the incoming administration will name to its policy and managerial team. For the nascent Trump administration, which has evinced little beyond large pronouncements about energy and environmental policy, establishing the veracity of the ru...

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US companies should act to keep US from self-immolating over Paris agreement

US companies should act to keep US from self-immolating over Paris agreement

Michael Liebreich , who founded what is now Bloomberg New Energy Finance and chairs its advisory board, posted a thoughtful op-ed piece in the Guardian newspaper after the US election about the perceived danger a Trump presidency could pose for the directions that have  been set for America’s electricity industry and for the country’s role under the Paris climate change agreement. We felt compelle...

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Should we strive to halt climate change? Can we adapt to it? What are risks?

Should we strive to halt climate change? Can we adapt to it? What are risks?

Lord Matthew White Ridley , known as Matt Ridley or even Lord Ridley, is a 58 year-old British journalist, businessman and author of popular science books. Since 2013 he has been a Conservative hereditary peer in the House of Lords. Earlier he was chairman of Northern Rock Bank that led to the first run on a British bank in 150 years. On Oct 17, he delivered the 2016 Annual Global Warming Policy Forum lec...

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The war to halt global warming: Isn’t one war enough?

The war to halt global warming: Isn’t one war enough?

Much as we dislike military metaphors, which tend to overhype everything, there actually is a war going on in the energy space. Two wars, actually.

The first is a war to halt the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere because they are increasing temperatures on Earth and in its oceans, already with awful consequences. The preponderance of evidence has supported...

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Good news comes slowly. The long, inevitable rise of the electric vehicle

Good news comes slowly. The long, inevitable rise of the electric vehicle

Are electric vehicle sales in the US likely to poke along, growing slowly but lacking the acceleration in sales that the cars possess on the road? Or are they headed for a bust-out year, as buyers discover their quickness and easy, clean operation.

EV sales could be explained by the typical S-curve of adoption: a slow start, with only early adopters and niche markets buying. Then, more rapid growth...

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