Mar
20
2018

Driving an EV: The Promise and Hazards

PACE is honored to feature guest commentary by Commissioner Chuck Eaton, of the Georgia Public Service Commission.

I love technology and innovation and consider myself an early adopter. I could not wait to get an Apple Watch, and I purchased a Chevy Volt back in 2012 after extensive analysis. As an energy regulator in Georgia, I see both the upside and downside with electric vehicles.

Here’s what I mean.

Let’s start with the grid – one of my daily concerns. Electric cars actually help our grid in Georgia. Our Commission worked with the power company to create a

Nov
16
2017

Driving to the Future in Electric Vehicles

The NARUC community has come to count on the Edison Foundation’s Institute for Electric Innovation (IEI) for creative and informative events alongside the official meetings. A breakfast panel on Tuesday brought together large utilities (Southern Company, BGE), environmentalists (the Energy Foundation) and EV consumer advocates (Plug in America).

Led by Phil Jones, a revered former PUC Commissioner from Washington state, now Executive Director of the new Alliance for Transportation Electrification, the panel united around strong support for electric vehicles and utilities’ central role in bringing the necessary charging infrastructure online. Regulators are just beginning to grapple with

Sep
14
2017

Smart Cities: What's in a Name?

After Harvey and Irma, some cities and towns may need to rebuild parts of their infrastructure. To do that, they can partially rely on disaster relief public assistance from the federal government, but also will need their own funds and sweat equity. Local government personnel, elected officials, and concerned citizens may discuss the “Smart City” concept as they formulate plans to move forward with recovery.

The word “Smart” clearly speaks to consumers, since it’s attached to a wide range of products and services. (It already has a longer shelf life than that relic of 1990s marketing, the “e- prefix”). No

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
07
2017

“Ree”-Examining Rare Earth Elements

Here in Boston for the National Conference of State Legislatures’ 2017 Legislative Summit, I’ve enjoyed attending several informational sessions on current topics in energy and environmental policy. It’s been an honor to meet and talk with dozens of state legislators from all over the country.

Rightly so, the legislators, their staff and energy leaders are asking future-focused questions and trying to imagine together what the utility of the future will look like. Many of the panels and forums touched on exciting developments in battery storage and renewable energy technologies.

State legislators could also benefit from tactical discussions about how