The State(s) of Distributed Solar + Should Utilities Be Buying New Gas Plants?

The State(s) of Distributed Solar — 2018 Update BY MARIE DONAHUE | DATE: 12 MAR 2019  2018 Year-End Update Renewable energy continued to expand across the country in 2018. This expansion in renewable energy complements a growing number of states, utilities, and cities that have set ambitious goals to transition to 100 percent renewable and carbon-free power generation. New solar photovoltaic capacity, including from small-scale distributed solar …

RMI on regulatory process reform, Hawaii’s PUC led process

Utility Dive, March 19, 2019, excerpt, also RMI paper on regulatory process reform A new effort to bring out the more collaborative part of the regulatory process was recently introduced in workshops as part of Hawaii’s ongoing proceeding to develop a new business model for the state’s regulated utilities. Led by facilitators from think tank Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the workshops stressed stakeholder …

Supporting the public interest means major changes at the PUC, removing the license of these monopolies to run roughshod over our environment

The problem is that public regulators too often see themselves as judges deciding between the private interest of utilities and public interest of advocate organizations, forgetting that their charge is instead to represent and defend the public interest, period.  “They’re supposed to be regulating on behalf of the public. What’s really been sacrificed here in New Mexico is the common good,” …

San Francisco Municipal Utility To Focus On 100% Renewable Energy & Job Creation 

San Francisco Municipal Utility To Focus On 100% Renewable Energy & Job Creation by Steve Hanley, Clean Technica, March 14th, 2019  Creative destruction is one of the fundamental principals of capitalism. In theory, when a business no longer serves the needs of the marketplace, it will be destroyed and replaced by one that does. That’s pretty much what officials in San …

2019: the year of orchestrating flexible resources, diverse sources, batteries and demand/non-wires alternatives

“2019 is going to be the year of orchestrating flexible resources, both on the residential and C&I side,” said Elta Kolo, research manager for the Grid Edge team at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. “You’re going to see increasing diversity in the resource mix that’s being orchestrated.”  This development is part of a long-awaited shift from old-school, unidirectional demand response signals …

Check landmark clean energy bills for massive handouts to incumbent monopoly electric utilities. In New Mexico, this includes promises that the utility may own all new power plants (despite a hefty cost premium) and that it be allowed to recover costs on retiring dirty power plants without oversight from public regulators

We have heard that the NM bill is not a “clean” RPS or securitization bill.  See below for New Energy Economy Initial Analysis and Recommended Next Steps and/or listen to the podcast (Mar 2019) by John Farrell and Mariel Nanasi of New Energy Economy warning of the dangers lurking in these landmark clean energy bills––massive handouts to incumbent monopoly electric utilities. In New …

Sen. Warren’s proposal would designate large digital platforms as platform utilities. It would require large tech companies to choose between maintaining ownership of a platform utility and being a participant or competitor on that same platform

If we’re going to restore competition and protect the free exchange of goods and ideas, then we cannot allow Amazon and other big tech companies to continue to use their control of this infrastructure to privilege their own goods and services at the expense of their competitors. In response to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to break up Amazon, Facebook, and Google, the …

What To Do About DERs: ISO says, “Historically, we have forecast demand for power, and dispatched supply. In the future, those roles will reverse.”

The most realistic vision for a decarbonized power system: lots of large-scale solar and wind generation, balanced by a mix of large-scale storage and myriad flexible, distributed energy resources (or ‘DERs’). (I won’t go into detail about how cheap these renewable energy sources have become — for more on that topic see GTM on that or Utility Dive here and here) If managed well, the burgeoning …

Minnesota Energy Could Be 100% Renewable, 100% Local

Minnesota Energy Could Be 100% Renewable, 100% Local, John Farrell, ILSR, March 2019 A new report released yesterday by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research shows that Minnesota can meet 100% of its electricity needs with in-state wind and solar power, and (with ample energy efficiency investments) at a comparable cost to its existing electricity supply. The notion that solar …