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
12
2018

A Sea of Change in Charleston

It’s 90 degrees in the shade here in Charleston, South Carolina, where the Southeastern Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (SEARUC) has gathered for its annual meeting. Eleven states’ public utility regulators, from Texas and Arkansas to Florida and the Carolinas, are represented. This year’s theme is “Effective Utility Regulation – All in the Public Interest.” In a time of increasing cynicism about government, it’s uplifting to focus on elected officials and professional staff who work hard for consumers each day.

It’s also refreshing to be with so many who accept that appropriate regulation is needed to monitor and provide course

Jun
07
2018

Walking a Few Feet in Poverty

Since the Partnership for Affordable Clean Energy joined the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition earlier this year, I’ve searched for ways to get smarter about home energy assistance and to deepen the Energy Fairness commitment to consumers. In late May, I attended a “poverty simulation.” Regular readers of the Energy Fairness newsletter know I eschew hyperbole, but here, the description “truly meaningful” fits the experience, a sentiment shared by many other participants.

This is the second time Entergy, the investor-owned electric utility serving New Orleans, and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas has partnered with Catholic Charities to