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Expert Insight

Suddenly a Distressed Coal Town Thrives . . . and Provides a Model for Successful Clean Energy Economic Transition

Author(s): Sean O'Leary
Senior Researcher
Ohio River Valley Institute
Date: October 13, 2021 at 3:44 PM

Rural Centralia, Washington, and surrounding Lewis County have long struggled economically. From 1998 to 2014 the county added no jobs. The town’s largest employer, a coal mine, which employed 600 workers, closed in 2006. And operations at its other major employer, a coal-fired power plant have been reduced by half as the plant works toward a planned retirement in 2025. As these events unfolded, they seemed like an economic death sentence to many in Centralia. But fate intervened. The mine’s and power plant’s owner, TransAlta Corporation, struck a deal with the state of Washington and environmental groups to fund an… [more]

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Expert Insight

Extreme Weather Events: Multi-Pathway Approaches Within Our Grasp

Author(s): Scott Sklar
President
The Stella Group, LTD
Date: September 17, 2021 at 1:52 PM

The year 2021 has already outpaced 2020 in terms of extreme weather events. On the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida left more than 1 million residents without power for days and led to historic rain in New York City. In February, Texas was hit with a historic -2 degree (F) cold snap that left 4.4 million people without power, caused enormous strain on the power grid, and froze pipelines. At least 217 people were killed directly or indirectly by severe cold, and the damages are estimated to be about $21 billion. This year, California faces the triple threat of wildfire… [more]

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Expert Insight

The Proposed Federal Clean Energy Standard

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: August 2, 2021 at 10:40 AM

A federal Clean Energy Standard has been proposed as a policy approach to help meet climate change goals.  The Biden Administration and some members of Congress are seeking to include it in budget reconciliation, and three variations of the policy have been introduced in Congress. The policy seeks to drive electric power generation to net-zero carbon emissions by requiring utilities to include more clean energy over time. Standards like this already exist in 30 states as renewable portfolio standards. Because of the similarities, many policy analysts believe a federal clean energy standard would be easy to implement. It would also… [more]

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Expert Insight

Innovation and the Energy Transition

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: June 7, 2021 at 9:32 AM

Experts have stated that we will need to use every tool at our disposal as well as create and deploy new energy technologies in order to meet the targets proposed in climate legislation. There are concerns that new solutions aren’t being advanced fast enough due to policy and financial barriers as well as the technological challenges inherent in innovation. OurEnergyPolicy hosted a webinar on June 2, 2021, to explore these questions and provide energy professionals with a better understanding of innovation and its role in the energy transition.  The panelists provided expertise on innovation with perspectives from government, finance, and… [more]

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Expert Insight

The Future of the Natural Gas Industry

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: May 20, 2021 at 3:51 PM

Natural gas is a critical but contentious part of our energy supply. Its relatively low prices, 50-60% fewer emissions compared to coal, and its flexible ramping capability have lowered the U.S.’s total overall emissions while still delivering affordable and reliable energy. Carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. energy sector decreased 28% between 2005 and 2018 with natural gas responsible for more than half of the reduction. Looking ahead, experts predict that the shift from coal to natural gas and renewables will continue in the coming years. The industry’s picture also includes expected increases in natural gas exports. On May 19,… [more]

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Expert Insight

Why Biden Should Designate a Nuclear Waste Negotiator

Author(s): David M. Klaus
William J. Perry Fellow, Visiting Scholar
Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford University
Date: April 12, 2021 at 11:54 AM

President Joe Biden comes to office at a time when there is a window of opportunity for the United States to make real progress on the management and disposition of nuclear waste. The two key challenges that must be overcome are the siting of a long-term repository for spent fuel from commercial nuclear reactors, and the management of the 90,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel currently sitting at 70 reactor sites across the country. Because these challenges are mainly political, not technical, prioritizing the issue and designating a senior official to negotiate on the administration’s behalf has the potential… [more]

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Expert Insight

The Role of Hydrogen

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 29, 2021 at 9:57 AM

Hydrogen’s potential as an emission-free fuel for transportation, power generation, and industrial purposes is nothing new; however, interest in the technology has increased in recent years. Some energy professionals say hydrogen will finally have its moment, driven by the trend towards cleaner hydrogen production, the need for additional tools to address climate challenges, and hydrogen’s potential in hard-to-decarbonize sectors. On March 24, OurEnergyPolicy hosted a panel discussion examining the role of hydrogen in the energy sector.  The webinar covered the production and uses of hydrogen, current economics, and policies needed to support the continued growth of the industry. In discussing… [more]

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Expert Insight

Texas’ Freeze, Energy Foresight, and Preparedness

Author(s): Dr. Anna Broughel
Tetra Tech
Energy Economist
Date: March 4, 2021 at 3:33 PM

Texas’ freeze and the consequent human suffering have left the country in shock. While the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has announced its return to normal operations, the nation, and its experts are busy assessing the damage, looking for perpetrators, and finding ways to move forward. The blackouts and the price spikes have exposed systemic vulnerabilities in Texas’ current energy system and its unpreparedness to respond to adverse weather conditions. Pundits have been quick to throw blame at individual technologies (renewables, thermal power plants, or nuclear power), players (power plant owners, ERCOT, policymakers, or the Texas Public Utilities Commission),… [more]

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Electric Power Supply Association

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: March 3, 2021 at 10:37 AM

The Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) is the national trade association representing America’s competitive power suppliers. EPSA members provide about 150,000 MW of reliable and competitively priced electricity from environmentally responsible facilities using a diverse mix of fuels and technologies including natural gas, wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, storage, biomass and coal. EPSA seeks to bring the benefits of competition to all power customers. Learn more at www.epsa.org and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter @EPSAnews.

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Expert Insight

The State of Long-Duration Energy Storage

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: February 26, 2021 at 12:36 PM

Energy storage systems are already being sold around the world to utilities and to homeowners with rooftop solar. However, studies suggest that long-duration energy storage on the scale of days or even weeks, will be necessary to address the seasonal variation of expanded renewable generation. On February 24, OurEnergyPolicy held a webinar examining this issue and featured a panel of experts discussing the potential industry impact of various energy storage technologies, as well as relevant policies.  While “resource adequacy” is currently defined as four hours of storage by some, panelists suggested that the industry is moving towards eight-hour, multi-day, or… [more]

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