Changing power sector trends driven by mandates and goals to achieve carbon-free electricity have renewed interest in the future role of hydropower. As the target years draw near, large-scale hydropower offers an attractive solution to contribute to the evolving generation mix.
Visual Primer: Preserving Existing Nuclear Generation Fleet Expected to Help Drive Clean Energy Transition
Options to sustain the existing nuclear generation fleet have resurfaced as states reevaluate their resource portfolios to expedite the transition to carbon-free energy. Policy support for the resource emerged as a means to stave off plant closures in the face of economic challenges, by rewarding its fuel diversity and zero-carbon attributes.
The prospects of the U.S. offshore wind industry are brightening as East Coast states and the Biden administration step up efforts to harness the potential of carbon-free electricity. The administration has established a goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind in the U.S. by 2030. To facilitate the achievement of the goal publicized on March 29, the administration announced several investment and funding opportunities. These include access to $3 billion in funding for offshore wind projects through the Department of Energy’s Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program and $230 million in funding opportunity for port authorities and other applicants for infrastructure-related projects through the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration.
Recent progress towards commercializing small modular reactors (SMRs) has sparked interest in the role of advanced nuclear technologies to accomplish decarbonization goals. Twenty states and jurisdictions across the U.S. now have 100 percent clean energy mandates or goals, implying the need for a portfolio of every available carbon-free technology that can be deployed on a timeline compatible with their targets.
Amid commitments to procure more than 29 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity by 2035, U.S. states are exploring measures for transmission planning, interconnection reforms, supply chain development, and components production.
The pressing trend towards revisiting retail rate net metering for rooftop solar continues, in a bid to ensure proper compensation for solar customers and avoid cost shifting to non-solar customers. Net energy metering, which credits customer generators for grid-exported power, has been a key component of the policy framework to spur investment in customer-sited renewable energy facilities, including solar and energy storage systems.
With the growing adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), the need for flexible storage resources in the electric grid has drawn increased attention to how well the vehicles can integrate into the grid as temporary batteries. While California is making strides in furthering the utilization of EVs as a grid resource, a handful of states are contemplating the technology in connection with electrification of fleets, and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
Visual Primer: U.S. Wind Industry Defies COVID-19 Impacts and Shows Rapid Growth Driven by Clean Energy Goals
The growing demand for renewable energy to meet state and utility goals is driving the rapid expansion in the U.S. wind power market. The sector emerged as the top provider of new power generation capacity in 2019, adding about 9.1 gigawatts of large-scale projects.
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Electric Vehicle Charging Programs on Rise as States Address Barriers to Transportation Electrification
States and utilities across the U.S. are expanding electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to overcome barriers to transportation electrification. The demand for fast charging in states with zero-emission vehicle goals, such as California, New York, and New Jersey, have heightened the need for reliable access to a wider network of stations.
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Distributed Generation Compensation Evolves to Reflect Benefits With Greater Accuracy
Recently, state regulators have stepped up efforts to value distributed energy resources (DERs) more accurately while looking for ways to better reflect the costs they impose on the grid. Among recent actions, New York adopted a mechanism to move the market towards more cost-reflective rates, while California decided to include avoided transmission costs in the valuation, and Connecticut unveiled a study on quantifying the benefits of these resources.
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – U.S. Offshore Wind Industry Makes Strides as East Coast States Plan 5 Gigawatts of New Capacity
The offshore wind industry continues to progress in the U.S. with East Coast states proceeding with new solicitations to procure capacity to meet their ambitious goals. New York and New Jersey are seeking to add nearly five gigawatts alongside offshore port infrastructure. Massachusetts is considering a bundled solicitation for generation and transmission in its next round of procurement. The industry’s growth has prompted federal regulators to examine whether existing frameworks in regional transmission organizations can accommodate offshore wind integration.
EnerKnol’s Visual Primer – Ohio Nuclear Bailout Scandal Stirs Up Questions Over Ratepayer Subsidies for Aging Power Plants
The debate over ratepayer subsidies for struggling nuclear power plants has resurfaced, following a racketeering investigation related to a controversial Ohio law, which created a $1 billion bailout for FirstEnergy Corp. last year. The economic troubles of the embroiled industry come to the fore even as states such as New Jersey and Illinois evaluate plans to opt out of the regional capacity market in response to reforms that expanded the minimum offer price rule to subsidized resources.