Energy Exchange

Clean energy bill is key to reinvigorating Illinois’ post-COVID economy

When the Illinois General Assembly met last week, lawmakers addressed the COVID-19 crisis among other priorities. This is, above all, a public health crisis and a human tragedy. More than 100,000 people in the state have been infected with this virus, and heartbreakingly more than 4,000 Illinoisans have lost their lives to it. We salute all of those working to combat this insidious virus.

Of course, the crisis also extends to our economy. Unemployment numbers rival those of the Great Depression. Businesses are fighting to stay afloat. Households face tough choices to afford essentials like rent, utilities and groceries.

A plan to stimulate the economy is urgently needed. Yet, the approach we take will have lasting implications. State leaders need to act quickly — but with an eye toward the years and decades ahead.

Read More »

Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

Public health crisis underscores need to protect vulnerable Texans. Here’s how the PUC is responding.

As Texans contend with the threat of the COVID-19 virus and an economic downturn, the state’s Public Utility Commission has adopted a proposal to prevent customers from having their power shut off in the midst of the current crisis.

Chairman DeAnn Walker initially put forward a set of policies on Tuesday to protect the state’s most vulnerable while keeping our competitive electricity market healthy and resilient. Today, the PUC advanced those policies with some changes.

Read More »

Also posted in Regional Grid, Texas / Comments are closed

What if gadgets talked to the grid to cut carbon? With this new technology, they can.

Having breakfast at a local restaurant last weekend, I was sitting next to parents who were desperately trying to get their toddler to eat the pancakes he had ordered a few minutes earlier. Watching the high-stakes drama, it occurred to me that toddlers are a bit like our electric grid: They can change drastically at a moment’s notice.

The better we are at reacting to the sudden outburst of “I hate pancakes” – or in the case of the grid, rapid changes in demand, price and emissions – the better off we’ll be.

For emissions at least, we can. Automated Emissions Reductions, or AER, is a new technology helping us to more precisely measure and proactively reduce the carbon emissions impact from our electricity use, in real time. A growing number of grid operators, businesses and energy managers nationwide are lining up to invest in this technology as an efficient way to cut their carbon footprint.

Read More »

Also posted in Energy Innovation, Fourth Wave / Comments are closed

3 reasons Texas’ electric grid survived a summer that pushed its limits

As the hot summer approached, Texas leaders expressed concern about potential blackouts and brownouts. Yet, thoughtful planning, a functional electricity market and clean energy helped ensure the lights stayed on.

Power outage concerns

Hotter temperatures and continued population and commercial growth drove record electricity demand this past summer. Additionally, in early 2018, Luminant (now Vistra) shut down three large coal plants – all inefficient and highly-polluting – with a combined capacity of 4,200 megawatts (MW).

The shutdown of these power plants and other changes in the electricity market initially led the state’s electric grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), to forecast few electricity-making resources would be available beyond the amount customers would likely demand.

Read More »

Also posted in Clean Energy, Grid Modernization, Regional Grid, Texas / Comments are closed

100% by 2045: California evaluates one of the nation’s biggest clean energy goals

It’s summertime in California, and one thing that means is lots of sunshine. Lucky for us, the Golden State is a national leader in turning that sunshine, and other renewable resources, into electricity to power homes and business across the state.

Currently, the state is working to produce 50 percent of its electricity from clean energy resources like solar and wind and is closing in on that goal. Next month, lawmakers will get the chance to advance that goal even further – to 100 percent by 2045.

SB 100, authored by Sen. Kevin de León, is the bill that, if passed, could solidify the new, bigger, bolder target. California would be the second state in the nation to pass this high of a target – only behind Hawaii. A handful of other states are considering aiming at 100 percent clean energy, including Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Washington, and Pennsylvania.

California’s leadership could help tip the scale. California has the opportunity to show the rest of these states and countries across the world that 100 percent clean energy is possible. With climate change already affecting us, we don’t have much more time to waste.  Read More »

Also posted in California, Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Solar Energy, Time of Use / Read 1 Response

East Coast meets West Coast style – how 2 states are advancing clean energy

By Rory ChristianLauren Navarro

Cities and states are taking the initiative to address climate change independently from the federal administration. With unique political contexts and environmental needs, each local authorities’ policies address specific climate challenges.

California’s new landmark mandate, requiring solar panels on new home constructions, and New York’s ongoing Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, illustrate just how different paths can lead to accomplish the same intent: to fight climate change.  They are also indicative of how elected officials are prioritizing energy, infrastructure, and housing in their planning.

The longer states wait to take action to set or meet environmental goals, the more expensive their efforts will become. More importantly, the delay can affect the economic and health benefits from new jobs and lower emissions that improve residents’ quality of life.

New York and California are well positioned because they’ve capitalized on emerging trends by addressing legal and regulatory issues in ways other states have yet to do. Let’s take a look at their approaches and challenges. Read More »

Also posted in California, Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles, Energy Efficiency, Energy Innovation, New York, New York REV, Solar Energy / Comments are closed