Aug
30
2018

Teaching Future Consumers Energy ABCs

This week’s guest blog is by Mark Justice, Director of Education and Community Relations at Cobb EMC. Mark provides leadership for member education, public relations, and public and media information. Cobb EMC, a not-for-profit electric cooperative, serves a large, diverse population in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. Their efforts to educate students and schools about energy are making a difference and are worth duplicating across the country.

Each school year brings opportunities to help young people learn about the energy sector. Students, elementary to college, are interested in electricity and related energy topics. What could be better than to have them

Aug
16
2018

100 Percent Renewable? Not Yet Doable

Last night, Energy Fairness joined a community event in Georgetown, Texas, asking whether the city is really powered by 100 percent renewable electricity? Over 100 citizens turned out for a 90-minute panel discussion and robust Q & A session, convened by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and also featuring:

Honorable Charles McConnell, Executive Director of Rice University’s Energy and Environment Initiative. Bill Peacock, Vice President of Research at Texas Public Policy Foundation. Kevin Roberts, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

Georgetown is a charming city north of Austin with a diverse population, thriving businesses and a

Aug
10
2018

Flexibility, Fuels & the Future

This week, Energy Fairness presented energy policy updates to the American Coal Council and conducted a workshop for state leaders at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual meeting.

You can see some of the content and ideas we shared here. Download the presentation PDF.

Aug
02
2018

The Long Shadow of Negative Pricing

 

Top Takeaways:

Renewable energy plays a valuable role in the nation’s generation mix. But when renewable energy flows into the wholesale market at prices below zero, the generation mix is distorted over the long haul. There really is no such thing as “free electricity.”

Like many people, I love free stuff. Tote bags and coffee go-cups top my list of free energy conference swag. So, I can understand why renewable energy enthusiasts enjoy discussing “negative pricing” and the benefits for consumers’ electricity bills. Some trumpet “free electricity” in a manner that calls to mind cell phone advertising.

However,

Jul
25
2018

A Record-Setting Summer in Texas

Many eyes are on Texas this summer. Some are watching the Houston Astros to see if a repeat of the 2017 season is possible; currently they are leading the American League West by 6 games and occupy the number 2 spot in USA Today’s Power Rankings. I cannot report similar good news for the Atlanta Braves, although hope springs eternal.

However, those lucky enough to have a professional or avocational (yes, that is a word) connection to the energy industry are collecting a different set of stats by following the state’s roller coaster of summer peak temperatures and power prices.

Jun
18
2018

Net Metering Debates Heat Up

Net metering policies evolved in several states this year, including Michigan, Connecticut, and Maine. Meanwhile, other states such as Kentucky saw heated battles sure to return. PACE supports changes in net metering laws that bring more fairness to the system – paying retail rates instead of avoided costs for net metering subsidizes electricity bills for a small number of residents and puts more costs on low and fixed-income families. Increasingly, states are taking a hard look at their net metering policies and aiming to bring payments in line with market rates, despite strong pushback from the renewable energy industry.

May
24
2018

Smarter Ways Forward with The Ray

Frequently, PACE talks about consumers’ interest in transportation from a fuel supply angle (oil pipelines) or integrating new technologies (electric vehicles). Many big thinkers are attempting to envision how, when and at what cost energy, telecommunications and transportation will converge. Many laudable “Smart Cities” projects and pilots with broad scopes of inquiry are underway.

While sweeping inquiries are useful, it’s also beneficial to focus more closely on a set of questions and issues. More discrete sets of information often have a better chance of getting and holding people’s attention. Those who live and work far from cities should also

May
22
2018

A Tale of Two States - Deregulation in Texas

Last month, the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power (TCAP) released an update to its regular report on Texas’ deregulated power market. TCAP is a not-for-profit that helps aggregate electricity purchases for dozens of cities in Texas, and so has a vested interest in monitoring the state’s complicated and ever-changing electricity markets. TCAP’s analysis can help you decide whether the Texas deregulation “miracle” is a tall tale.

I became a TCAP fan last summer after identifying them as one of the nation’s few organizations able to discuss “capacity markets” in plain English.

Since Texas is so frequently held up as an

May
17
2018

DOE's Hard Work and Always-On, Clean, Affordable Power

While media attention focuses on events at one end of Pennsylvania Avenue, federal agencies and dedicated employees all over the country are quietly making progress on energy issues. This week, PACE takes a look at just one week’s output of good news from the Department of Energy. Sec. Rick Perry believes in all of the above, while championing renewable energy, and his philosophy shines through in work done each day by DOE divisions and partners.

On May 15, DOE announced a sizable grant of $72 million to “advance high-temperature concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies,” continuing U.S. leadership in the space.

May
15
2018

Wolverines Set Shining Solar Example

Last summer, PACE released a report reviewing state solar net metering policies and discussing ideologies that influence some states to over-compensate private solar generators at the expense of every other consumer on the grid. We’ve enjoyed presenting on this topic and appreciate the many positive comments about our report’s readability and usefulness. Combine the strong response to PACE’s report with the uptick in state legislative and regulatory attention to net metering in 2018, and the result is that PACE will update our report later this year.

However, a few recent state developments merit attention before the fall.

First up is