To keep 2 C within range, coal has to be gone in OECD countries before 2030. For 1.5 C, it’s ASAP

RMI 2018  |  By Annie Benn et al. ReportL Managing the Coal Capital Transition DOWNLOAD DIRECTLY Coal was the preeminent fuel for grid-based electricity generation around the world for the better part of a century, but its time is coming to an end. With this transition, however, workers and communities are experiencing layoffs and the owners of coal-fired power plants are bracing themselves …

Actionable strategy for utility reform

“E–Lab aims to inspire and support change agents in the US electricity sector,” said Coreina Chan, a principal at RMI who oversees e–Lab. “We are helping to create the most critical concepts and tests with the most critical people in the industry. We’ll be hosting representatives from utilities large and small, regulatory agencies, technology providers, investors, customer voices and others who are coming together …

Report: Cheap Natural Gas and Renewables Could Close Half of US Coal Fleet by 2030

Rhodium Group sees coal’s demise accelerating, absent “market interventions at a grand scale.” JEFF ST. JOHN AUGUST 16, 2018 There’s no way around it: The future is dim for U.S. coal. The U.S. coal power plant fleet has been shrinking for years, with the official tally of coal plants closed exceeding those still open as of late last year. Another 43 gigawatts, …

A massive new study confirms a national energy grid would pay for itself.

By David Roberts Aug 3, 2018, Vox.com SHARE The US does not have a national energy grid. Instead, functionally speaking, it has three grids: the Eastern Interconnection, ERCOT (a Texas grid, basically), and the Western Interconnection. Though there are a few small ties between them, very little energy is exchanged. They mostly operate in isolation. NERC This doesn’t make sense. If there is …

Colorado approves Xcel plan to retire coal, shift to renewables and storage. Xcel still plans to buy 383 MW of gas plants

Source: Catherine Morehouse, Utility Dive, Aug. 28, 2018,  Colorado’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) voted unanimously on Monday to give preliminary approval to Xcel Energy’s Clean Energy Plan, which would see the utility close 660 MW of coal-fired generation a decade earlier than scheduled and shift to renewable resources. Under the plan, Xcel will close units 1 and 2 at the Comanche …

The Inequality Crisis Hiding Behind High Utility Bills: Low-income people and communities of color are disproportionately energy insecure. Here’s how energy efficiency policy can address the divide.

By Basav Sen, August 27, 2018, Institute for Policy Studies.  A society with high levels of inequality of incomes and wealth inevitably leads to high levels of inequality of living standards. One such dimension of inequality in the United States today that does not get the attention it deserves is the incidence of energy insecurity.  Low-income households pay a much higher share …

The Utility Industry Marvels at the ‘Profound’ Impact of Economy-Wide Electrification: “Economy-wide electrification leads to a reduction in energy consumption overall.”

JUSTIN GERDES AUGUST 22, 2018, GTM The utility industry is rallying behind “electrification of everything.” Photo Credit: Shutterstock The shift toward the electrification of everything is “going to be profound” for the utility industry. That’s according to Mike Howard, president and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute, which is holding its first-ever international electrification conference this week in California. “The value of electricity …

Investor-owned utilities in California forecast that by 2025, 85 percent will leave their systems for renewable energy through community choice aggregation

Microgrid Knowledge, Aug 2018 Quickly growing community choice aggregations (CCA) are expected to play a significant role in drawing 85 percent of customers away from California’s investor-owned utilities by 2025, according to a new report. Provided by Wang An Q/Shutterstock.com The community aggregation report was one of three on grid disruption released by Next 10, an organization with a goal of improving …

Utilities are asking for increased fixed charges to residences, but cases are being rebuffed

Since about 2009, utilities have been asking regulators for increased residential fixed charges because electricity sales are falling, and per-kWh charges are not covering their costs. But the accepted principles of good rate design warn against increasing fixed charges because they charge the same amount on consumer bills, regardless of the customer’s level of use, and discourage customer investments in EE and …

The benefits of distributed storage would well exceed its costs, yielding $2-3 of grid savings for each dollar spent

According to a recent study, the benefits of distributed storage would well exceed its costs, making storage a cost-effective resource that utilities must employ under Massachusetts law. The benefit/cost findings may be applicable in other states, to the extent that the Massachusetts grid is representative of other grids nationwide. By William Driscoll in PV Magazine, 24 Aug 2018 Image: Flickr  A …