In this Greentech Media article (reposted from the AEE blog), AEE's Coley Girouard, Associate, Public Utility Commission Program, looks at the top 10 utility regulation trends of 2018—so far. Link to the full article here. Excerpts below:
Not surprisingly, the challenges PUCs are grappling with are diverse: moving toward a cleaner grid, adopting foundational electric vehicle policies, investigating utility business model reforms, exploring the integration of new technologies such as energy storage, and increasing customer choice when it comes to sourcing their energy, just to name a few. Without further ado, here is a status check on the top 10 matters before PUCs in 2018 so far:
1. Moving toward a cleaner grid
2018 has continued the trend in recent years toward a cleaner grid, with more utilities announcing coal plant retirements and large investments in renewable energy. In the first quarter alone, there has been over $10 billion of new investment in renewables. Large investments have largely been driven by falling costs, strengthened state energy and environmental policies, and increased desire from customers for 100 percent renewable energy offerings...
10. Increasing access to renewable energy
As renewable energy has become more competitive on price and more corporations have set sustainability targets, large customers are looking for ways to power their operations with 100 percent renewable energy. To give these customers the renewable energy they want, utilities in vertically integrated markets are developing new direct access programs and renewable energy tariffs.