Energy Exchange

DOE’s compensation scheme for coal and nuclear is dead – Now what?

In a January 8 Order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or Commission) swiftly dismissed the Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed out-of-market compensation scheme for coal and nuclear units.  DOE’s proposal would have provided guaranteed profits to coal and nuclear plants, despite the fact that these aging units are losing out to more efficient and affordable resources.  Instead, FERC took a more measured approach, asking all regional market operators to submit additional information on resiliency issues within 60 days, and providing interested parties an opportunity to respond to those submittals within 30 days.  Here’s what we can expect next. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Electricity Pricing, Grid Modernization, Utility Business Models / Leave a comment

NASA study underscores urgency of solving the global methane problem

A new NASA study suggests methane emissions from fossil fuels may be responsible for half of the recent rise in global atmospheric methane concentrations. While we’ve known for some time that methane levels have been increasing worldwide, it hasn’t been clear why. The research narrows uncertainty as to both the sources and trends influencing global methane emissions.

According to the study, which was published last week in the journal Nature Communications, methane emissions from fossil fuels are rising at a rate of 12 to 19 million metric tons a year. Read More »

Posted in Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

National clean air protections are in jeopardy of going away, but Pennsylvania can be protected

Source: Bob Donaldson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently announced plans to control harmful smog-forming emissions from the state’s existing oil and gas sites. There’s just one problem: their plan is based on national clean air guidelines that are now under attack by President Trump’s EPA. However, by changing this plan, and creating strong state-led policies, Governor Wolf can ensure Pennsylvania remains in control of its own clean air protections.

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Posted in Air Quality, Methane, Natural Gas, Pennsylvania / Tagged , , | Comments are closed

FERC’s rejection of DOE’s pro-coal and nuclear proposal shows evidence can still trump politics

Last week the Midwest and northeastern United States experienced an historic cold snap that tested our nation’s electric grid. Like last year’s solar eclipse, unprecedented wildfires in California, and extreme flooding after Hurricane Harvey, this year’s “bomb cyclone” has not created a reliability crisis. In fact, it appears based on the evidence thus far that our electricity system – built upon the markets and long-standing operator practices behind our grid – passed this test with flying colors.

That’s why today’s decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to reject the Department of Energy’s (DOE) flawed coal and nuclear proposal is such an important win for American families, competitive markets, and the environment.

In mid-October, the DOE took the unprecedented step of asking FERC to provide guaranteed revenues and profits to uneconomic coal and nuclear plants. DOE did so with thinly veiled pretext, arguing without evidence that these plants support grid resiliency. FERC was quickly inundated with a chorus of resistance and disapproval from natural gas companies, environmental groups, consumer advocates, state attorney generals, and congressional members from both parties.  Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Electricity Pricing, Grid Modernization / 4 Responses

How electric trucks could disrupt highway transport and save businesses billions

By Jason Mathers, Supply Chain Director at EDF, Corporate Partnerships

Tesla’s much-anticipated electric semi-truck is garnering attention for its futuristic look and zero-emission promise – and it’s part of an innovation trend that is changing the future of trucking, with implications for entire supply chains.

United Parcel Service, Anheuser-Busch, Walmart, PepsiCo and J.B Hunt are among the companies rushing to secure orders of Tesla’s trucks, which are expected to be in production in 2019.

All-electric trucks can bring tangible benefits not just to truck owners, whose conventional vehicles can consume more than $60,000 worth of fuel a year, but also to their customers.

Fuel has long been a top cost for trucking, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the per-mile cost. Because fuel bills are passed on to companies that hire trucks to get their goods to market, electric trucks can thus promise businesses significantly lower and more stable operating costs.

For the business community as a whole, savings could be in the billions.  Read More »

Posted in Electric Vehicles / 1 Response

This Midwestern state is the surprising standout on cutting carbon pollution.

One state surprisingly stands out for reducing carbon emissions from electricity.

Ohio saw an impressive 37.7 percent drop in its power sector’s carbon emissions from 2005 to 2015. Despite not having a stellar track record on clean energy, the Buckeye State, in fact, has become the nation’s carbon-reducing powerhouse: In absolute terms, Ohio slashed its carbon pollution by 50 million metric tons (MMT) during that decade – far more than any other state.

No doubt the steep drop in natural gas prices during this time period played a starring role in this change, forcing numerous dirty Ohio coal plants to close. Yet, despite recurrent challenges from subsidy-seeking utilities, Ohio’s deregulated electricity market and clean energy standards are also to thank. Imagine the carbon reductions that could be achieved if Ohio fully embraced clean energy technologies, and stopped trying to gut the state’s clean energy standards and bail out aging coal plants. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, FirstEnergy, Ohio / 1 Response