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Director of Energy Policy & Senior Fellow
The R Street Institute
The traditional regulated monopoly model for electric utilities is outdated. It limits innovation, product and service development in the power sector. One example is the regulatory treatment of distributed energy resources (DER). In 46 states and D.C., customers are permitted to sell back excess energy generated from DERs through a process called net metering. As DERs like battery storage and rooftop solar penetrate the market, they increasingly expose cross-subsidies inherent in traditional utility rate design. Standard net metering policies attempt to serve a diverse customer base within this rigid framework and cannot properly capture the costs and benefits to the… [more]View Discussion
J.C. Ward Jr. Professor of Nuclear Energy Engineering
“Sustainable future” advocates seem to believe that solar, wind and hydro-electricity will eventually make up close to 100% of our energy generation, but there are benefits to having “central station” power plants in addition to distributed power generation. If the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while assuring the health of our economy, the most viable way of generating central station power at present is nuclear fission. Central station power complements distributive power generation in two important ways. Central station power plants are better able produce power on a small area relatively close to where the energy will… [more]View Discussion