Electricity Policy

Mon09262016

Last updateSun, 25 Sep 2016 6pm

ISSN 2331-1223  Twitter

  • Free Trial
  • Affordable Site Licenses

Major Articles

  • Pause
  • Previous
  • Next
1/6

Additional Articles

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. 

 

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

Readmore

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.

Readmore

It Takes a Portfolio: A Broad Spectrum of Policies Can Best Halt Climate Change

It Takes a Portfolio: A Broad Spectrum of Policies Can Best Halt Climate Change

 By Jeffrey Rissman

Market failures, political barriers, and other challenges help illustrate why many policies affect only limited segments of the economy. A broad spectrum of policies designed to overcome these market flaws can better arm policy makers with the tools they need to tackle climate change.
P

olitical consensus is coalescing around the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gases and mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, but little agreement exists on which policies should be used to reduce emissions.  Regulatory policies like the Clean Power Plan and vehicle fuel economy standards require states or businesses to satisfy certain performance outcomes, while “market-based” policies incentivize emissions reductions by economic means, primarily taxes and subsidies.  Both types of policy are needed to make the transition to a clean energy system with superior economic outcomes.

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

Readmore

Charge Without a Cause? Assessing Electric Utility Demand Charges on Small Consumers

Charge Without a Cause?  Assessing Electric Utility Demand Charges on Small Consumers

 By Paul Chernick, John T. Colgan, Rick Gilliam, Douglas Jester, and Mark LeBel

Imposing demand charges to which customers cannot properly respond and that have no relationship to controlling utility costs would be ineffective and punitive. There are simpler, better means to achieve desired objectives.

Introduction & Overview

T

here has been significant recent attention to the possibility of including demand charges in electricity rates charged to residents and small businesses. Electric utilities historically have served these small customers under a two-part rate structure comprised of a fixed monthly customer charge that recovers the cost of connecting to the grid and an energy charge (or charges) that recover all other costs. Much of this attention to the issue of demand charges for small customers has been initiated by electric utilities reacting to actual or potential reductions in sales, revenue and cost recovery. 

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

Readmore

Bill Effects of Demand-Based Rates on Commonwealth Edison Residential Customers

Bill Effects of Demand-Based Rates on Commonwealth Edison Residential Customers

 By Jeff Zethmayr

A frequent rationale for demand-based rates is the utility assertion that they should reflect customer cost-causation. More analysis is needed to test this assertion, incorporating data from utilities’ cost of service studies and comparing it to individual usage and bill effects.

 

T

he tension between revenue security, fairness of cost allocation, and consumers’ control over their bills has long dominated the utility rate design policy discussion. Nationwide, many utilities have pushed for straight-fixed-variable (“SFV”) rate designs,  which increase the fixed portion of customers’ delivery bills. Consumer, environmental, and low-income advocates have resisted this push because higher fixed charges increase bills for lower-use customers, while lower SFV volumetric charges reduce incentives for energy efficiency measures.

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

Readmore

Electricity Daily

FERC invites stakeholder views of market power review in merger, market pricing

FERC invites stakeholder views of market power review in merger, market pricing

September 26, 2016 -- FERC ’s Notice of Inquiry at its meeting last week was aimed at clarifying and and perhaps changing its policies aimed at discovering market power in two different, but not dissimilar areas: its merger reviews under Section 203 of the Federal Power Act and its market-based rate authority under Section 205. In his last meeting as a commission member, Commissioner Tony Clark admitt...

Readmore

MISO, both vertically-integrated & competitive, sets 3-year capacity auction

MISO, both vertically-integrated & competitive, sets 3-year capacity auction

An OMS-MISO Survey showed that capacity needs are tightening across MISO. That prompted a response from the regional grid operator. While much of the region is served by vertically-integrated utilities—load-serving entities and are traditionally regulated by state agencies—MISO also includes two areas that have been restructured and get their power deliveries from merchant companies—competitive supp...

Readmore

Duke microgrid sails through two rough weather events; does wider rollout await?

Duke microgrid sails through two rough weather events; does wider rollout await?

Duke Energy has spent years developing a utility-controlled microgrid that can be assembled from standard parts and rolled out to customers. But the acid test for Duke’s McAlpine microgrid test site in Charlotte—a fire station connected to a substation with a 50-kW solar array and a 500-kW lithium-ion battery—came in two distinct events this year, according to a Greentech Media blog last week. The fi...

Readmore

Is going off-grid economic today? Perhaps in Australlia, not in US. But stay tuned

Is going off-grid economic today? Perhaps in Australlia, not in US. But stay tuned

It’s not exactly a movement, but thousands of homes have invested in combined solar-battery storage systems in the US, while one million homes in sunny Australia alone will have adopted solar + storage by 2020. But is going off-grid the most effective choice a consumer can make? As renewables become more affordable, more and more people are cutting their ties to the grid—or never establishing o...

Readmore

SolarCity to roll out its integrated solar roof for the roofing market on Oct. 28

SolarCity to roll out its integrated solar roof for the roofing market on Oct. 28

SolarCity , whose acquisition by Tesla may be delayed by shareholder lawsuits , plans to show off a new product, a roof that’s integrated with solar panels, Oct. 28 in San Francisco. Tesla CEO and SolarCity chairman Elon Musk made the announcement on Twitter Thursday morning, saying the combined company would unveil a solar roof with an integrated battery and a Tesla charger. Musk announced plans for Sol...

Readmore

FERC adopts GMD rule; bids Clark adieu

FERC adopts GMD rule; bids Clark adieu

By Kennedy Maize

September 23, 2016—The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday, Sept. 22, unanimously adopted a final rule establishing a new reliability standard to address the threat to the grid from geomagnetic disturbances (GMD). FERC has been working on the issue since the fall of 2010, Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur noted at the meeting. A second item found FERC seeking advice on a possible ...

Readmore

Editorials

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...

Readmore

Renewables or nuclear: What’s the vision?

Renewables or nuclear: What’s the vision?

The public policy community is solidly on board with the proposition that we must stop emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But it’s not enough that we simply reduce the level of emissions. Rather, as soon as practicable, we must curb fossil fuel emissions in every sector of our economy—in the transportation (now the chief emitter) and buildings sectors, as well as the energy sector.

That...

Readmore

Replacing Diablo Canyon with safer, more flexible options is a better choice

Replacing Diablo Canyon with safer, more flexible options is a better choice

Michael Shellenberger , an acclaimed environmentalist and co-founder of the pro-nuclear Breakthrough Institute , is determined to make Californians and the world see the error in a joint proposal’s plan to close the 2,200 Diablo Canyon nuclear plant. Shellenberger and his allies go so far as to claim that nuclear energy is “clean energy.”

There is a broad global consensus climate change must be checked ...

Readmore

Will distributed resources end the distribution natural monopoly? If so, then what?

Will distributed resources end the distribution natural monopoly? If so, then what?

The electricity industry seems to be plagued by a multitude of “interesting problems.” They’re problems that can’t—or at least shouldn’t –be ignored. While after nearly 40 years we are still grappling with the consequences of the energy supply sector of the industry becoming competitive, with passage of the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (as evidenced by several excellent panels in FERC’s t...

Readmore

What decided Diablo Canyon’s fate?

What decided Diablo Canyon’s fate?

As an outsider, weighing the things known and not known behind PG&E’s decision to retire its two-unit, 2,240-MW Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, shocking as it was, in the end it wasn’t surprising.

Among the things that are both known—and unknown—about the remaining years for California’s last surviving nuclear plant are these:

Relicensing . As the project’s existing licenses expire in November 2024 ...

Readmore

Rethinking the climate change challenge from a deeper, wider position

Rethinking the climate change challenge from a deeper, wider position

Cambridge University engineering professor M.J. Kelly has written a paper that challenges much of today’s accepted wisdom about the climate change threat.

It addresses that problem but also steps back from it to look into the abyss posed by a related problem: the need to supply a growing, changing world with energy and how best to do it—thoughtfully and conscientiously.

Reading the paper was unsettlin...

Readmore

ElectricityPolicy.com: 
THE online version of a scholarly industry publication with a plethora of additional benefits.  
In addition to publishing full-length downloadable articles; ElectricityPolicy.com compiles relevant and developing news stories every day and provides a forum for industry members to discuss, network, and collaborate.  
A powerful time saving tool for 
  • Utility and independent power executives;
  • Federal and state regulators;
  • Consultants and lawyers;
  • Academics specializing in the field; and
  • Sophisticated customer and environmental representatives

  

Subscriber only content (beyond "Read More") may be accessed by logging in from the button below or by subscribing HERE.

Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me
×

ElectricityPolicy

Free 30-day trial subscription?

Simply complete the form below and you will receive a free 30 day trial subscription.

(No payment information required.  We do not sell, loan, rent or share our subscriber information.)