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Investing in a Resilient Grid

Author(s): Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY)
Chair, Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Environment & Climate Change, U.S. House of Representatives
Co-Chair, Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition
Date: January 22, 2018 at 9:42 AM

In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the northeastern United States. Today, more than five years later, we are only just beginning to see the benefits of long-term recovery efforts coming to fruition, as states and utilities invest in smarter, more resilient grid technologies. It has taken time but a number of states, including my home state of New York, are deploying microgrids and storage resources, and valuing localized generation appropriately while also hardening traditional transmission and distribution infrastructure. These investments will help the grid withstand and recover from future catastrophe, whether a natural disaster, cyber attack, or act… [more]

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FERC Rejects DOE Resilience Rulemaking

Author(s): Devin Hartman
President & CEO
The Electricity Consumers Resource Council
Date: January 16, 2018 at 10:15 AM

On January 8, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) voted unanimously to reject the Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed rulemaking on grid reliability and resilience pricing. The rule would have provided cost recovery to power plants holding 90 days of on-site fuel supply. Only nuclear and select coal facilities would have qualified. Rather than create a new power market product or refine the pricing rules of existing products, the proposal departed from principles of electricity market design by subsidizing power plants with a specific characteristic. FERC’s ruling confirmed that both the goal – promoting 90 days of on-site fuel –… [more]

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The Tax Bill and Energy Policy

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: December 19, 2017 at 11:30 AM

On Friday, GOP negotiators released their Conference Report (Report) reconciling House and Senate versions of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. The bill would affect U.S. energy policy in several ways, impacting electric vehicles (EV), the clean energy industry, as well as oil & gas operations. Now that a deal is complete, two significant energy-related items, the Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax and the opportunity to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, are likely to become law very soon. Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax: To offset U.S. tax liability, multinational companies often make payments to overseas affiliates and also purchase renewable… [more]

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Strategic Planning to Avert a Global Warming Catastrophe

Author(s): Henry M. Goldberg
Consultant
Independent
Date: December 4, 2017 at 10:00 AM

The United States and world are facing a crisis of enormous magnitude if the global warming problem is not addressed properly.  Every country in the world, except the current U.S. administration, supports the Paris climate agreement goal limiting the rise in global average surface temperature to 2°C (3.6°F).  The consequences of failure could be a catastrophic future: Flooding from rising sea levels, more severe hurricanes/heat waves/wildfires, crop failures and droughts, and greater stress on an already aging infrastructure. Climate scientists generally agree carbon emissions should be reduced to near zero by mid-century to avert catastrophic climate change. But the voluntary… [more]

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A Democratic approach to energy: promote the interests of citizens, not industry

Author(s): Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D - AZ)
Ranking Member - Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations
U.S. House of Representatives
Date: November 27, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Donald Trump claims to have an “America First” energy plan. His administration’s actions over the past 10 months have made it clear that what he truly puts first are the interests of oil, gas and coal executives. Everyday Americans and our iconic American landscapes come last, if he considers them at all. Republicans used to label their policies “energy independence” and now call it “energy dominance,” but it looks more like the ransacking of our public lands and the fleecing of American taxpayers. The public wants a smarter way forward – an energy strategy that prioritizes renewables, takes climate change… [more]

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Energy Futures Initiative

Author(s): OurEnergyPolicy.org
Administrator
OurEnergyPolicy.org
Date: November 17, 2017 at 10:33 AM

The Energy Futures Initiative, Inc. (EFI) is a nonprofit organization established by former Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz to provide policymakers, industry executives, NGOs and other leaders actionable options on how to advance a cleaner, safer, more affordable and secure energy future. Through its global network of experts, EFI develops and implements analytically-based, technology-informed, real-world low-carbon solutions for the world’s growing energy needs.

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Extreme Weather Grid Threats

Author(s): Scott Sklar
President
The Stella Group, LTD
Date: November 13, 2017 at 11:30 AM

According to the Fourth National Climate Assessment, humans are the dominant cause of global temperature rise, which many believe is directly responsible for the increased intensity of extreme weather events. The assessment shows that extreme events have cost the U.S.more than $1.1 trillion since 1980, and also warns that “The frequency and intensity of extreme high temperature events are virtually certain to increase in the future as global temperature increases”. We have only to look to Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico where major hurricanes caused catastrophic damage to the electric grid creating heightened concern for resiliency. The inability to re-establish… [more]

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Greater Resilience in a Climate-Enhanced World

Author(s): Stephan Dolezalek
Managing Director
Resourcient
Date: November 6, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Struck by fire and flood, first from two hurricanes enhanced by climate change, and then by heat and drought enhanced fires, our urge is to rapidly assist, fix and rebuild. A more thoughtful response should also address what exactly should be fixed, and how and where to rebuild in a more resilient fashion. For Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Napa and Sonoma Counties, these are gut wrenching questions with few easy answers. The typical and very human response — quick rebuilds — is attractive to construction companies looking for work and banks providing short-term construction loans. Politicians and communities like… [more]

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Pricing Grid Resiliency: A Lifeline for Coal and Nuclear?

Author(s): Alex Gilbert
Cofounder
Spark Library
Date: October 23, 2017 at 10:15 AM

In late September, the Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) for consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Using §403, a little-used provision in the DOE Organization Act of 1977, Secretary Perry proposed that FERC, an independent agency, exercise its authority to establish just and reasonable rates for wholesale electricity sales. Specifically, the NOPR requires ISO’s and RTO’s create special cost of service compensation for certain types of generation that DOE alleges are essential to protecting grid reliability and resiliency. Facilities would be eligible for this special, non-market compensation if they could provide essential… [more]

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The ITC Ruling: Could the Cure Kill the Patient?

Author(s): Marilyn Brown
Professor of Public Policy
Georgia Institute of Technology
Date: October 2, 2017 at 10:30 AM

On September 22nd, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that low-cost, imported solar panels from China and other countries have hurt two “domestic” manufacturers: Chinese-owned Suniva and German-owned SolarWorld. Both companies are now insolvent. The ITC seems likely to recommend a steep increase in solar import tariffs. If the Suniva recommended tariff is implemented, the price of solar panels could double. Implementing such a “cure” for dumping international products into the U.S. marketplace could be devastating to our solar industry. It would hurt the expanding solar installation business, it would hurt U.S. racking, wire and balance of system manufacturing, and… [more]

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