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Electricity Sector Policy Reforms to Support Efficient Decarbonization

Electricity Sector Policy Reforms to Support Efficient Decarbonization

Full Title: Electricity Sector Policy Reforms to Support Efficient Decarbonization
Author(s): Howard K. Gruenspecht, Hannes Pfeifenberger, Paul L. Joskow, Richard Schmalensee
Publisher(s): MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research
Publication Date: April 8, 2022
Full Text: Download Resource
Description (excerpt):

In future decarbonized electric power systems, wind and solar generation will be much more important than in current systems. Unlike thermal generators, the outputs of wind and solar generators are intermittent: they vary over time and are imperfectly predictable. Storage technologies, if efficiently deployed and utilized, can play an important role in maintaining system reliability and controlling system costs in the face of generation intermittency. This paper considers how alternative regulatory rules and policy regimes will affect the ability of storage to contribute to reliable, cost-effective, and equitable power system and economy-wide decarbonization. The focus is mainly on the United States, though the general issues discussed are relevant in other developed regions. The basic conclusion is that future decarbonized power systems will differ from current systems in fundamental ways that will render today’s governance arrangements increasingly inadequate. We recommend a number of steps that should be taken now by regulators and others to deal with this challenge. Because effective governance of future decarbonized power systems will require development and deployment of new tools as well as reform of rules and regulations, research has an important role to play.

All statements and/or propositions in discussion prompts are meant exclusively to stimulate discussion and do not represent the views of, its Partners, Topic Directors or Experts, nor of any individual or organization. Comments by and opinions of Expert participants are their own.

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