By Peter Cappers and Andy Satchwell
State regulators and policymakers should act now, while demand response is under judicial review, to develop contingency plans to ensure resource adequacy is not jeopardized and that DR remains a robust and economic resource for meeting electricity needs.
y vacating FERC Order 745 in Electric Power Supply Association vs. FERC (“EPSA”) , the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C Circuit injected uncertainty into the future of demand response (DR) resources in U.S. wholesale markets. Among several things, the decision explicitly identified “incentive-responsive demand” as a retail transaction, not a wholesale transaction. Thus, demand response, as the industry has come to understand it within the confines of ISO/RTO-administered energy markets, is not under FERC jurisdiction but rather state jurisdiction. However, if the Court of Appeals’ majority arguments are taken to their logical conclusion, then FERC may not have jurisdiction over DR providing any bulk-power system service, not just energy.
By Bentham Paulos
As wind and solar mature commercially they have novel effects on power system operations, planning, and finances. With Germany and California in the vanguard, policy solutions are emerging. But to best pursue a clean energy future, we first must change the way we look at our power systems, starting with the daily load profile.
he growth of wind and solar power are introducing a new element into grid operations, and changing the way grid operators look at the system. Indeed, they are changing the familiar daily shape of the demand profile.
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By Paul J. Feldman
The economic cost of outages to electricity customers amounts to nearly one-third of the revenues those customers pay for service, and the problem lies almost entirely with the distribution system. Fortunately the tools to address this situation are available, if utilities, state regulators, vendors—and customers—can cooperate on a needed fix.
n 2013 end-use electricity customers in the U.S. paid some $364 billion to their suppliers for electricity service. The economic cost of outages that customers experienced in that year, however, amounted to approximately $112 billion, not including the full cost of outages that were attributable to extreme weather. That failure of service represents $1 loss to an end customer for every $3 the customer pays for service.
By Jürgen Weiss
Germany’s transition from nuclear and coal-fired generation and toward greater reliance on renewable resources and efficiency thus far has been mostly positive in terms of system reliability and maintaining a strong economy. The US would do well to follow developments there carefully.
ermany has committed itself to closing its remaining nuclear power plants by 2022 and to essentially eliminating fossil fuels from its power sector by 2040-2050. To implement the latter, Germany has been aggressively supporting the deployment of renewable energy since about 2000. With over 37 GW of solar PV, Germany is now the world leader in installed capacity, one of the top countries with respect to renewable capacity in absolute and relative terms more broadly, and more or less on track to meet its goals.
By Robert McCullough, Garrett Oursland, and Rose Anderson
The problems facing the nuclear industry are national in scope and appear to be enduring in effect. Only a major change in the economics of the industry is likely to avoid market-based nuclear plant closures in years to come.
The State of Play
an existing nuclear power stations be economically viable in a market increasingly dominated by zero short term marginal cost renewables and low natural gas prices? On that question the jury is still out – and will be for years to come. But the evidence indicates that a number of existing units have out-of-pocket costs that are greater than today’s market prices.