Sep
06
2017

PURPA: What Lies Ahead for Consumers?

Yesterday’s House Energy Subcommittee hearing on the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA) provided enough sparks to warrant further coverage in our second blog this week. Will those sparks start a fire of activity at FERC, in Congress, or in state legislatures preparing for 2018 sessions?

Decades ago, renewable energy was an infant industry. The nation was stunned by the Arab oil embargo and envisioned running out of commonly-used generation and transportation fuels. In the late 1970s, Congress reacted with several sweeping statutes, including PURPA, that still impact today’s energy industry and consumers.

PURPA attempted to ensure

Sep
04
2017

D.C. Update: Energy Playbook and Rosters

The Texas and Louisiana coasts continue to suffer post-Harvey. Donations to the Salvation Army to support relief efforts can be made:

· Online at helpsalvationarmy.org.

· By calling 1-800- SAL-ARMY.

· By texting STORM to 51555.

Congress returns today, facing a bevy of high-profile issues, now potentially even more complicated by the need to assemble a massive federal aid package (Texas Governor Greg Abbott has floated $180 billion) in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Still, we can report some energy developments, and look at more coming down the field. As many of us welcome the

Aug
31
2017

Vogtle Moving Forward Is Positive Step

Earlier today, Southern Company announced it will continue to build nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia, reinforcing its support of nuclear power. PACE has consistently supported new reactors at Plant Vogtle, as part of a larger effort to advance the U.S. nuclear fleet.

Southern Company;s decision is an important one, as it comes at a time when other states are abandoning their own new nuclear efforts. Nuclear power is an important resource in generating reliable and affordable electricity, particularly as utilities nationwide work toward a lower-carbon future. That makes Vogtle an important project that benefits not only Georgia

Aug
30
2017

After the Storm: Lessons Learned from Harvey

The Texas and Louisiana coasts continue to suffer the devastating effect of Hurricane Harvey. Donations to the Salvation Army to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts can be made:

Online at helpsalvationarmy.org. By calling 1-800- SAL-ARMY. By texting STORM to 51555.

With Hurricane Harvey still dropping untold amounts of rain on Gulf Coast states, it’s timely to start looking at how energy infrastructure weathered the storm. According to the Energy Information Administration, which is tracking facility outages and energy production slowdowns on its website, “over 45 percent of total U.S. petroleum refining capacity is located along the Gulf coast, as

Aug
28
2017

Back to School with DOE's New Electricity Markets Report

The Texas coastal community, including Houston, continues to suffer the devastating effect of Hurricane Harvey. To help the relief effort, consider donating $10 to the Red Cross by texting 90999 or giving to the Salvation Army of Houston.

All over Northern Virginia, it’s time to head back to school. Adults, too, have that sense of renewal and a bit of excitement. It’s also nearly time for Congress to return and handle some weighty issues such as the debt ceiling, annual appropriations, and healthcare. With those tests ahead, it seems likely that energy policy will be just an

Aug
23
2017

Energy Headlines Abroad - U.K. and Mexico

Energy Issues Facing Neighbors and Friends

Upon returning from a great road trip around the Southeast, it seemed appropriate to look abroad at global energy news. As we all pack up the beach gear and prepare to resume work or school, I hope you can find some use in what we’ve collected below. While neither the U.K. nor Mexican markets make an apples-to-apples comparison with the U.S. energy landscape, some facts leap out from the headlines generated by each country’s experience with deregulation or new technology.

S&P Global, under the Platts imprint, has released a

Aug
21
2017

Ordering Common Sense with “One Federal Decision” 

Last week, the Trump Administration released an executive order that deserves attention and discussion. It follows a January 24 order that gave agencies authority to fast-track high priority infrastructure projects. It also revoked a January 2015 Obama Administration executive order that included standards for review of sea-level rise when assessing infrastructure projects. Unfortunately, this provision dominated press coverage of the order, obscuring some needed reforms that should help many energy projects, whether traditional or renewable, navigate environmental permitting and get online much faster with reduced costs.

The philosophy behind the August 15th order “Establishing Discipline and Accountability

Aug
16
2017

Net Metering: Will Utah Choose a Smarter Way Forward?

Last month, PACE released our new report, “Net Metering: Costs, Customers, and a Smarter Way Forward.” The report provides policymakers and other stakeholders with current snapshots of net metering approaches in several states, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, and Nevada.

Net metering and related solar discourse is live in dozens of states, in addition to those covered by our report. In Utah this summer, a long-simmering debate seems poised either to boil over or come to a conclusion that works better for consumers.

Utah currently has full retail net metering for rooftop solar customers, a policy PACE

Aug
14
2017

Powering America with Jobs and More

This week, the PACE blog is coming to you from a beach house on the Georgia coast. In this relaxed setting, I had the chance to sit on the porch swing, iced tea in hand, and reflect in the relative quiet of August recess.

This house has quietly gone about its work since 1880, serving first as headquarters for the Chatham Artillery Club and then generations of those needing a respite from the modern world. It has withstood hurricanes and extreme temperatures. Its features combine the new (wi-fi, Roku, air conditioning) and the traditional (original louvered shutters,

Aug
09
2017

American Wind Week Offers Chance for Reflection

Over the years, PACE has written often about the deployment of new energy sources, advocating for the location of those sources where they work best and the integration of those sources in a way that serves both customers and the grid. Our work, for example, led us to Oklahoma in the most recent legislative session to discuss the significant contributions of wind power in that state. We’ve written similar encouraging reviews of utility-scale solar projects in places like New Orleans and Montgomery, Alabama.

As the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) celebrates its first-ever American Wind Week, running August 6th