Calif. Capitol Weekly: Electric vehicles in the fast lane

Posted by Lisa Renner on Feb 26, 2018

Reports Renner: "By the time today’s infants are in their early 30s, gasoline-powered cars that aren’t hybrids could be a rarity in California. That’s the goal of California policy makers who are doing their best to phase those cars out by 2050 and replace them with zero-emissions vehicles like electric cars, plug-in hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles."Toward that end, Gov. Jerry Brown signed an executive order in January calling for 5 million zero-emissions vehicles on the road by 2030 – a giant increase from the 350,000 on the road today. He also proposed a $2.5 billion initiative that will bring 250,000 vehicle charging stations and 200 hydrogen fueling stations to the state by 2025...She highlights a new Next 10 report produced by Beacon Economics that California shows is on track to meet Brown’s goals. "In about 20 years, (Next 10 founder F. Noel) Perry believes zero-emissions vehicles could be as common as smart phones are today." The report covers leading countries like China, France, the United Kingdom, India and Norway, that have already announced plans to phase out gasoline and diesel cars. Also noted are top challenges like the limited number of charging stations, cost, range, charging time and options in the showroom.But the performance of the cars is steadily improving. “The models that are coming out today, the marquis one being the Chevy Bolt are more moderately priced vehicles in the $30,000 range with the ability to travel over 200 miles a charge,” said Matt Stanberry, vice president of market development for Advanced Energy Economy, an organization of businesses working to make energy secure, clean and affordable. “That is one of the things consumers have been looking for.”California sweetens the pot by providing incentives of $1,500 and $2,500 to those who buy most electric cars and $5,000 to those who buy a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The federal government also offers a tax credit of up to $7,500.Stanberry said California should offer an even higher incentive to increase more purchases. “The prices of vehicles are coming down rapidly but for the next 5-10 years, upfront costs are higher than for an internal combustion engine,” he said. “We need to look at expanding the incentives.”
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Topics: AEE In The News

Houston Chronicle: People in Business (Jim Steffes Joins AEE Board)

Posted by Katherine Feser on Feb 23, 2018

In its roundup of People in Business, Feb. 23, the Houston Chronicle reported that Jim Steffes, executive vice president of corporate and regulatory affairs at Direct Energy, has joined the board of directors of Advanced Energy Economy.See the complete Houston Chronicle story here.
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Topics: AEE In The News

Midwest Energy News: Illinois regulators look to cloud computing to boost smart grid

Posted by Kevin Stark on Feb 22, 2018

Kevin Stark reports that states could encourage investment in smart-grid apps and software by changing rules that reward spending on capital instead of services. Here are excerpts:Smart meters produce an endless stream of data for utilities, but outdated regulations discourage them from investing in apps and software that could make use of the information.A recent report from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEE) urges states to consider reforms that would give utilities more financial incentive to embrace cloud computing and other technology. Illinois is among a handful of states already considering such changes.The problem stems from the way most utilities make money: Companies are generally rewarded for making capital investments — think power plants or computer hardware — but not for operational costs such as salaries or software services.As smart meters become increasingly common, the potential for cloud computing to produce tangible benefits for customers and the electric grid is growing, too. That’s why some want to see a way for utilities to incorporate those investments into a rate base.“The financial incentives — and what they motivate utilities to do — are not always in the best interest of customers,” said Danny Waggoner, an author of the AEE report, Utility Earnings in a Service-Oriented World, which outlines ways that cloud computing and distributed energy could replace capital investment as a major source of revenue for utilities.The report describes five potential regulatory models designed to help utilities invest in services rather than capital “at equal or lower cost to customers, while in many cases providing equivalent or greater earnings to the utility.”See complete Midwest Energy News story here.
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Utility Dive: FERC order opens 'floodgates' for energy storage in wholesale markets

Posted by Peter Maloney on Feb 20, 2018

Utility Dive reported that the FERC commission unanimously directed grid operators to develop rules for storage to participate in the wholesale energy, capacity and ancillary services markets.  Order 841 directs operators of wholesale markets — Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) — to come up with market rules for energy storage to participate in the wholesale energy, capacity and ancillary services markets that recognize the physical and operational characteristics of the resource. They have months to file tariffs that comply with the order and another year to implement those tariff provisions.FERC specifies that those rules must:
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Topics: AEE In The News

SmartGrid Today: AEE Adds Nine Board Members

Posted by Advanced Energy Economy on Feb 16, 2018

SmartGrid Today reported Advanced Energy Economy's announcement that executives of nine market-leading firms joined its board of directors to support the national business group's efforts to accelerate the growth of secure, clean, affordable energy in the US. The nation's advanced energy market totals over $200 billion in revenue, about equal to pharmaceutical manufacturing and approaching wholesale consumer electronics – and supports over 3 million US workers, AEE said.The AEE Institute, the educational and research affiliate of AEE, added two new board members, too:
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AEE Applauds FERC Action on Energy Storage, DERs

Posted by Advanced Energy Economy on Feb 15, 2018

 AEE Applauds FERC Unanimous Action on Energy Storage, Distributed Energy Resources
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Topics: Press Releases

Bloomberg News: Batteries Set to Compete Against Generators in Power Markets

Posted by Catherine Traywick and Rebecca Kern on Feb 15, 2018

Bloomberg Markets news reported that U.S. regulators have leveled the playing field for batteries and other forms of energy storage, voting unanimously to eliminate market barriers for those technologies.The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday finalized a rule that will let energy storage compete against power plants and other resources in wholesale power markets. Under the rule, technologies such as batteries and flywheel systems can be used by grid operators to dispatch power, set energy prices and offer capacity, energy and ancillary services.“Our job is not to pick winners and losers,” Chairman Kevin McIntyre said before the vote, adding that the final rule will ensure all resources are allowed to compete fairly. Integrating storage into markets will enhance grid resilience, he said...Malcolm Woolf, vice president of Advanced Energy Economy, which promotes clean energy, urged the commission to move forward on the matter, saying distributed energy resources “deserve the same opportunity to compete on the basis of price and performance.”See the full Bloomberg Markets story here.Energy trade press also covered the news and AEE's perspective with stories at Energy Central here, Renewable Energy World here; and AltEnergy Magazine here.
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Market Leaders Join AEE, AEE Institute Boards

Posted by Advanced Energy Economy on Feb 14, 2018

Executives of Market Leading Advanced Energy Companies and Corporate Energy Buyers Join AEE and AEE Institute BoardsLeaders from 8minutenergy Renewables, Apex Clean Energy, Direct Energy, EnerNOC, Ingersoll Rand, Microsoft, Modern Energy, Nautilus Data Technologies, Nest Labs, and Oracle support initiatives to expand $200 billion advanced energy marketWASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 14, 2018 – Today Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) announced that executives of nine market-leading companies have joined its board of directors to support the national business group’s efforts to accelerate the growth of secure, clean, affordable energy in the United States. The U.S. advanced energy market totals more than $200 billion in revenue, about equal to pharmaceutical manufacturing and approaching wholesale consumer electronics, and supports more than 3 million U.S. workers.Concurrently, Advanced Energy Economy Institute (AEE Institute), the educational and research affiliate of AEE, added two new board members. Joining the board and serving as chairman is Matt Rogers, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Nest Labs, a leader in connected home devices used to manage energy and security systems, and Partner at Incite Ventures, an investor in mission-based enterprises. Also joining the AEE Institute board is Tim Healy, former Chairman & Chief Executive Officer at EnerNOC, a leader in demand response and energy management, strategic energy procurement, and utility bill management software and services."We are proud to welcome these outstanding business leaders to our boards, and appreciate the wealth of corporate leadership, technology expertise, and industry insight that is of great value in guiding our organization,” said Heather O'Neill, interim CEO of AEE. “They join highly committed and energized boards that are helping us work toward our vision of a prosperous world running on secure, clean, affordable energy.”The new AEE directors are:
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Topics: Press Releases

Wall Street Journal: Budget Would Boost Fossil Fuels While Slashing Renewable Energy

Posted by Tim Puko on Feb 12, 2018

Tim Puko reports that "[e]nergy efficiency and renewable power research money would be slashed under President Donald Trump’s proposed $31 billion budget for the Department of Energy, while research spending on fossil-fuel power rises." The story notes, "[t]he department's spending plan unveiled Monday is nearly unchanged from current spending, up less than 2%. Most of the increase would come from a $1.8 billion boost for managing the country’s nuclear-weapons stockpile, completing programs for safeguarding and extending the life of nuclear warheads. Cybersecurity defenses were also a priority ... a steep cut for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, down by... $1.3 billion of its nearly $2 billion in funding," and that funding for Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) an incubator for next-generation technology would be eliminated while $81 million would be added for fossil energy research, bringing that program up to $502 million... “It’s disappointing that this administration is turning its back on the technologies critical for prosperity in the 21st century,” said Malcolm Woolf, who oversees policy at Advanced Energy Economy, a trade group representing business consumers. “We’re not investing in the technologies of the future.” See the Wall Street Journal story here (scroll, no sub. req.)  
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Topics: AEE In The News

Daily Energy Insider: Demand reduction strategies could save Indiana up to $2.3B AEE report says

Posted by Liz Carey on Feb 12, 2018

For Indiana businesses and residents, a few cutbacks during peak energy times could save the state between $448 million and $2.3 billion over 10 years, a new report from Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) said.AEE, a national association of business leaders dedicated to making the global energy system more secure, clean and affordable, released the report, “Potential for Peak Demand Reduction in Indiana,” earlier this month. Prepared for Indiana AEE by Demand Side Analytics, the report highlighted strategies to help the state avoid electricity infrastructure investments, including new power plants, transmission lines, and distribution infrastructure across the state.The report focused on three main strategies impacting both commercial and residential customers: curtailing commercial and industrial electricity demand, installing more smart thermostats across Indiana’s residential sector, and deploying energy storage technologies...“Indiana is a very energy intensive state,” said Vince Griffin, executive director of Indiana Advanced Energy Economy, a state affiliate of national business association AEE. “We have steel mills, smeltering, auto manufacturers. Indiana has something like 43 foundries, which is very energy intensive. … And what we’ve found is that, on the commercial side, if we can reduce the load during peak times, we, and the businesses, can see big returns on energy usage,” Griffin told Daily Energy Insider...See complete Daily Energy Insider story here.
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Utility Dive: Rate design for a DER future

Posted by Advanced Energy Economy on Feb 12, 2018

Rate design for a DER future: Designing rates to better integrate and value distributed energy resourcesIn this third installment from AEE on how the power sector can successfully transition to a 21st Century Electricity System, AEE's Coley Girouard digs in on rate design challenges for a DER future, noting time-varying rates may be the best bet to accurately price DERs.The U.S. electricity system is changing, driven by technological innovation, increased use of distributed energy resources (DER), and evolving customer needs and preferences. If DER assets are properly integrated into the system, they have the potential to make the grid more efficient, flexible, resilient, reliable, and clean, while simultaneously giving customers greater choices and control over energy use and costs. For this to happen, new rate designs will be needed – and some approaches to new rate design fulfill the promise of a DER future better than others.  In the fast-changing electric power system going forward, rate designs will need to achieve multiple objectives. They will need to allocate costs equitably. They will need to compensate DER customers for the benefits DER provides and properly charge them for use of the grid.And they will need to allow utilities to fairly recover the revenue required to maintain a system that provides safe, reliable, universal electricity service. But with customers more actively engaged with the electric power system, rate designs need to do even more. They need to send appropriate price signals so that customers are motivated to act in ways that benefit themselves and the grid as a whole....See the full Utility Dive piece here. 
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GreentechMedia: Trump Signs Budget Bill With Relief for ‘Orphan’ Energy Technologies

Posted by Emma Foehringer Merchant on Feb 9, 2018

GreentechMedia reported on the congressional budget deal: "After a brief government shutdown, lawmakers passed a two-year budget deal that includes several key energy provisions... "The bill includes credits for fuel cells, energy efficiency, microturbines, combined heat and power, carbon capture, and nuclear power. The latter would extend nuclear benefits past 2020, allowing the country’s last large-scale nuclear project under construction, an expansion at the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia, to benefit. "Clean energy advocates cheered the inclusion of the credits, even as lawmakers stared down the impending deadline... “'This legislation provides the market certainty that will support investment in technologies like fuel cells, combined heat and power, energy efficiency, geothermal and advanced nuclear,' said Malcolm Woolf, Advanced Energy Economy’s senior vice president for policy."   See the full GreentechMedia story here.  
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AEE on Energy Extenders in U.S. Budget Deal

Posted by Advanced Energy Economy on Feb 9, 2018

 Background Resources:2017 Advanced Energy Now Market ReportThis Is Advanced Energy directory of 52 technologies At More than 3 Million Jobs, Advanced Energy is a Big – and Growing – Source of Employment in the U.S.
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Peak Demand Reduction Can Save Indiana $2.3 Billion

Posted by Advanced Energy Economy on Feb 7, 2018

REPORT: Peak Demand Reduction Can Meet Indiana’s Electricity Needs, Save Billions for Businesses, Households
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Topics: Press Releases