U.S. Natural gas Exports, Power Sector Consumption Hit New Highs in 2020: EIA

Natural gas exports rose by 13 percent from 2019 to 2020, reaching 5.3 trillion cubic feet, according to a June 7 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Consumption also grew in the U.S. electric power sector, increasing by 3 percent over the same period. Since 2011, 100 coal plants across the U.S. have been…...

Visual Primer: Performance-Based Regulation Expands to Advance Clean Energy Transition, Serve Social Goals

Performance-based regulation (PBR) continues to evolve in the face of transformational changes brought about by new technologies, changing customer preferences, and state policy mandates. Recent actions range from Hawaii’s approval of performance incentive mechanisms to accelerate clean energy goals, the District of Columbia’s ratemaking pilot that contains climate goals-driven tracking mechanisms, and Washington’s law to move towards PBR to help utilities adapt to rapidly changing societal expectations and public policy objectives.

U.S. Energy Consumption Reached Record Low in 2020: EIA

U.S.energy consumption totaled 92.9 quadrillion British thermal units in 2020, a record 7 percent decrease from 2019, according to a June 4 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Renewable energy consumption increased by 2 percent, whereas all other fuels decreased: coal by 19 percent, petroleum by 13 percent, natural gas by 2 percent, and…...

Texas Lawmakers Pass Bill to Ensure Preparedness, Response, and Accountability During Power Outages

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed legislation on June 8, calling for comprehensive reforms aimed to prevent the recurrence of the mid-February winter storm event that caused widespread power outages across the state. Among the key provisions, the bill addresses winterization of power and gas facilities, establishes a power outage alert system, and establishes…...

Visual Primer: Capacity Prices Fall by 64 Percent in First PJM Capacity Auction After Market Reforms

The long-awaited capacity market auction of PJM Interconnection LLC for the 2022-2023 delivery year cleared at $50 per megawatt-day, which is 64 percent lower than the 2018 auction and the lowest in almost a decade. This is the first auction to be conducted by the nation’s largest grid operator under the expanded minimum offer price rule (MOPR) resulting from a 2019 order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Visual Primer: Rapidly Evolving Cyber Threat Landscape Reignites Concerns About Critical Infrastructure Vulnerability

A recent ransomware attack that shut down the Colonial Pipeline system, which supplies nearly half the fuel consumed on the East Coast, has elevated concerns about the use of cyberattacks to paralyze key infrastructure. The incident is the latest example of intrusions exposing U.S. cyber vulnerabilities, calling for stronger measures to secure the nation’s energy pipelines and critical infrastructure against increasingly sophisticated and malicious attacks.

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.

U.S. Transportation Department Declares Regional Emergency as Cyberattack Shuts Down Major Fuel Pipeline

The U.S. Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on May 9 declared a regional emergency in 17 states and the District of Columbia in response to the unexpected shutdown of the Colonial pipeline system, which transports about 45 percent of fuel consumed on the East Coast. On May 7, the pipeline operator said that…...

State Policy Playbook: Washington Expedites Measures to Fulfill Clean Energy Policy Agenda

Washington is moving expeditiously to implement rules and strategies as the state seeks to achieve carbon-free electricity by 2045 and reduce emissions to net zero by 2050. The state is advancing multiple measures ranging from resource planning rules to establishing a carbon cap-and-trade program, and strengthening auto-emission standards.

Washington Lawmakers Pass Bill to Establish Cap-and-Trade Program

The Washington legislature on April 24 passed legislation aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by implementing an economy-wide cap-and-invest system. Upon enactment, Washington will become the second state – next to California – to have a comprehensive carbon-pricing program. The state would auction carbon allowances starting in 2023, aligned with the 2030, 2040, and 2050…...

Visual Primer: Texas and California Blackouts – Comparison of Regulatory and Legislative Responses

Texas state lawmakers are exploring solutions to address the issues faced during and after the mid-February winter storm event that caused widespread outages across the state. California, which faced a similar predicament due to an unprecedented heatwave in August 2020, albeit smaller in scale and severity, has advanced measures to ensure reliability this summer.

President Biden Commits U.S. to Achieve 50 Percent Emissions Reductions in 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden on April 22 announced a new target for the U.S. to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 percent in 2030 relative to 2005 levels. In January, Biden took action to recommit the U.S. to the Paris Climate Agreement, as part of a series of executive actions reflecting his energy agenda…...