Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.



  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: California’s Step Toward An Automated Power System
  • TTTA Wednesday-NatGas Price Spikes On EU Stand Against Russia

  • Monday Study – The Stark Economic Risks Of The Climate Crisis

  • Weekend Video: Powerful Voices Say The New Energy Economy Is Here
  • Weekend Video: Tesla’s Texas GigaFactory Brings The Batteries
  • Weekend Video: Arizona’s “Impact Earth” Team

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Europe’s New Energy Transition Accelerating
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy Still The Best Buy


  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: California’s Rooftop Solar Supports Questioned
  • TTTA Wednesday-The Transportation Electrification Policy Fight Goes On
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    Founding Editor Herman K. Trabish



    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart




      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.


    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

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  • FRIDAY WORLD, May 27:
  • The New Energy “Lifeline”
  • The New Energy World At War

    Friday, May 27, 2022

    The New Energy “Lifeline”

    ‘Lifeline’ of renewable energy can steer world out of climate crisis: UN chief

    18 May 2022 (United Nations News)

    “…[H]uman activity is causing harm on a planetary scale - to our land, ocean and atmosphere…[T]he past seven years have been the warmest on record, with global temperature in 2021 reaching about 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels… UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that while time is running out to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis, there is a ‘lifeline’ right in front of us…[It is accelerating] the renewable energy transition before we incinerate our only home…[because transforming] energy systems is ‘low-hanging fruit’…

    …[R]enewable energy technologies such as wind and solar are readily available and in most cases, cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels…[T]he UN chief proposed five critical actions to jump-start the energy transition, which he called the ‘peace project of the 21st century’….1. Treating renewable energy technologies as essential global public goods…[and] removing obstacles to knowledge sharing and technological transfer, including intellectual property constraints…

    …2. Secure, scale up and diversify the supply components and raw materials for renewable energy technologies…[with] more international coordination…3. Build frameworks and reform fossil fuel bureaucracies…to fast-track and streamline approvals of solar and wind projects, modernize grids and set ambitious renewable energy targets that provide certainty to investors, developers, consumers and producers…4. Shift subsidies away from fossil fuels…[The half a trillion dollars that artificially lower the price of fossil fuels are] more than triple the subsidies given to renewables…5. Private and public investments in renewable energy must triple… click here for more

    The New Energy World At War

    Global Power and Renewables Research Highlights, May 2022

    Rama Zakaria, 18 May 2022 (HIS Markit/S&P Global)

    “…As the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues to rage, global energy markets are witnessing unprecedented volatilities…On the back of already tight global fuel markets from last year, the conflict has pushed spot coal and gas prices to record highs, making wholesale power prices skyrocket around the world. The crisis also prolonged global supply chain disruptions and instigated new energy security concerns….[C]oal and gas markets are expected to remain tight in the near term, continuing to pressure power prices. While the situation is particularly acute in Europe given its dependence on Russian fuel imports, the impacts are being felt globally—albeit to varying extents…

    Sustained tight fuel markets, in turn, challenge power system reliability, with supply disruption risks expected to be higher in markets such as South and Southeast Asia where affordability is a concern. In the short term, the focus on energy security could translate to higher coal and nuclear generation, but in the medium to long term, there will likely be a push to accelerate the energy transition and reduce fossil fuel dependence—although the pace of transition will likely be different in different regions…[T]he Ukraine conflict has also renewed supply chain risks for clean technologies, as Russia is a significant producer of critical materials used in wind, solar photovoltaics (PV), and battery storage.

    In 2021, raw material prices increased by 10-20% compared with the previous year, owing to the global supply chain crisis. While costs are projected to increase by an additional 5-10% in 2022, the impacts are anticipated to be temporary and clean energy supply chains are expected to remain resilient. A more lasting impact of the war would be increased regionalization of supply chain. Despite the Ukraine conflict, countries around the world are making progress on energy transition policies, to varying extents, while also keeping supply security and economic growth top of mind… click here for more

    Wednesday, May 25, 2022

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: California’s Step Toward An Automated Power System

    The Big Picture on Emerging Clean Technologies: Transactive Energy

    Herman K. Trabish, January 27, 2022 (California Current)

    Editor’s note: This imagined future is continues to beckon from just over the horizon as technologies and energy generation get smarter.

    Transactive Energy, an emerging approach to balancing the power system with flexible distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar and smart thermostats, took two important steps forward in the last month. The steps may lead to using far more transactive energy to improve power system reliability, lower emissions, and reduce utility bills.

    The underlying work has been pioneered by the Grid Wise Architecture Council in collaboration with the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The term “transactive” applies to value-based transactions that use demand flexibility to manage the system, according to the Grid Wise Council. It may be used to manage a part of the system, like the residential demand response that reduces energy consumption to lower stress on the grid. Or it may be used to manage the power system from “generation to consumption,” the Grid Wise Council said.

    The first step toward making transactive energy a reality was a California Energy Commission initiative in December to enable automated responses to real-time price signals from grid-connected residential clean distributed energy resources. The second step was the Pacific Northwest Lab’s Jan. 25 release of the results from the biggest-ever transactive energy simulation, showing it can help balance a Texas-sized power system while lowering all customers’ costs.

    The proposed Energy Commission platform would allow automated responses to granular price signals from smart customer-owned clean energy technologies that reduce system costs. Capturing the demand flexibility of customer-owned resources could be worth as much as $267 million through 2040 at the distribution level in California, CEC staff estimated.

    The Pacific Northwest Lab transactive energy simulation showed a possible $5 billion per year net benefit from using demand flexibility to optimize an Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)-sized power market. The simulation included over 100 generation sources through 40 utility distribution systems serving 60,000 homes and businesses with 100,000 smart devices, the lab reported.

    The simulation verified that “stable and effective coordination” of flexible assets could provide a 9% to 15% reduction in peak loads, and a 20% to 44% reduction in daily load, with more distributed energy resources having a greater impact. These benefits were possible because transactive energy harmonizes energy supply and demand by allowing automated negotiation of energy needs and costs by electricity suppliers, energy markets, the power system, and DER users, according to Pacific Northwest Lab… click here for more

    NatGas Price Spikes On EU Stand Against Russia

    US natural gas prices surge as Europe turns away from Russian energy; Benchmark more than doubles from past decade’s average as exports grow and producers hold back

    Derek Brower, May 4, 2022 (Financial Times)

    “The US economy’s long era of cheap shale gas is showing signs of fading, with prices hitting the highest in more than a decade and Europe and Asia ready to pay more to import American supplies…[The rising Henry Hub natural gas benchmark is] far above the $3 average of the previous 10 years. A persistent source of demand are plants that liquefy the gas for export overseas. The coastal facilities, a critical piece of Europe’s plans to cut Russian supplies after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, have been running at maximum capacity during the rally…

    …Shale gas producers, whose headlong growth in the 2010s depressed prices and made US liquefied natural gas export projects viable, have also been slow to increase output in response to the market surge…[Demand from LNG plants has leapt] since the start of March…More shipments are anticipated this year as Cheniere Energy expands an export plant in Louisiana and rival Venture Global opens one in the state. The Energy Information Administration forecasts LNG exports, which began on the Gulf of Mexico in 2016, will increase another 25 per cent between 2021 and 2022…

    …[NatGas in the US remains far cheaper than in Europe and Asia, and the] disparity creates an incentive to add more export plants…The US and EU recently signed an agreement in which the US would to ship 50bn cubic metres a year of added LNG to Europe by 2030, almost 50 per cent more than the US’s current export capacity. The extra LNG demand comes as US electricity consumption is on the rebound, driving domestic gas consumption. Combined with sluggish production growth from shale gasfields, it has left US gas stockpiles at their lowest seasonal level in three years and well below the five-year average…” click here for more

    Monday, May 23, 2022

    Monday Study – The Stark Economic Risks Of The Climate Crisis

    A time for action on climate change and a time for change in economics

    Nicholas Stern, October 2021 (Centre for Climate Change Economics and Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment)

    Part I

    Urgency, scale and opportunity

    The science of climate change and the role of targets We must start with the science2. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been in existence since 1988 and has produced a series of assessment reports, published every few years, about the current state of knowledge on climate change. Each one of those assessments has been more worrying than the last. The first one, published in 1990, was extremely worrying, but the outlook has only worsened as the evidence has become ever stronger of effects coming through more quickly and with greater intensity than we expected. The latest report (the sixth Assessment Review) published in August 2021 has demonstrated even more clearly and unanimously that we are under intense time pressure if we are to be able to hold temperatures at levels which manage the most extreme risks (IPCC, 2021). Global mean surface temperature is already 1.1°C above that of the end of the 19th century, our usual benchmark…


    The next decade is critical. Choices made on infrastructure and capital now will either lock us in to high emissions, or set us on a low-carbon growth path which can be sustainable and inclusive. In the next 15-20 years infrastructure will roughly double; in the next 20-25 years the world economy will probably double; and in the next 40 years the urban population will likely double. If that new infrastructure, the new world economy, or the towns and cities we build look anything like the old, we will have no hope of meeting the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The infrastructure we build in the next 15- 20 years will be decided in the next few years. That is why we have to act quickly. A sense of urgency is absolutely critical in our decision making.

    A new form of growth

    The necessary rapid change across the whole system, just described, can be a story of growth, indeed the only sustainable story of growth. In the shorter term, the necessary investments can boost demand in a world where planned savings exceed planned investments (with sluggish demand and low real interest rates). In the short and medium term it is full of innovation, investment, discovery, and new ways of doing things. It can be more efficient; and much cleaner. It can create cities where we can move and breathe, and ecosystems which are robust and fruitful. It is potentially a very attractive, different way of doing things, relative to past dirty models, with so many gains across the different dimensions of well-being. But that does not mean that it is easy. It does mean that it is sensible, it does mean that it is attractive, and it is within our grasp. We have to change radically and, particularly, invest and innovate strongly to get there. That is the challenge. But there can be a real payoff in terms of a much better form of growth. We must also remember that there is unlikely to be a long-run growth story that is high carbon; it would likely create, the IPCC reports show, a physical environment so hostile as to derail growth and undermine living standards across the board…

    Rapid technological change

    Technology has changed very rapidly over the last 15 years or so. A whole range of low-emission technologies, that are already competitive with fossil-fuel based technologies without subsidy or a carbon price, have emerged. Capital costs for renewable electricity continue to fall much faster than those for conventional technologies and many electric vehicle technologies are now close to costcompetitive with their fossil-fuel counterparts…

    The first decades of this century, the COVID crisis, and the climate crisis

    We are at a very special moment in history, facing two crises: the COVID crisis that we are experiencing right now (summer of 2021)- we hope shorter-term, although that itself depends on strong global action - and the climate crisis, which is going to stay with us for a long time. The climate crisis embodies risks and challenges that are bigger, deeper and longer-lasting even than the tragic COVID crisis. There are powerful arguments that we have to tackle these crises in a similar way; with strong, innovative investment, to drive a recovery and create a new form of development and growth. But in assessing ways forward we must begin with the first two decades of this century and paths of investment and growth…

    Tackling the twin crises and creating a new internationalism

    Tackling the two crises requires a new and shared understanding of how to reconstruct our economies and societies and the meaning of “build back better”. That understanding should be based on a recognition of the nature and origins of the fragilities and difficulties that had been growing before the COVID crisis broke over us. Rebuilding in a different way will involve substantial investment and innovation, and the global nature of the challenges demands international collaboration. There have always been arguments for internationalism; in our current circumstances they are extraordinarily powerful…

    Realising investment for a strong and sustainable recovery


    In section 3, I explained why strong, internationally coordinated investment should be at centre stage, right through from recovery from the COVID pandemic to transformational growth and the drive to a net-zero economy. What kind of orders of magnitude of investment do we need to make? To bring through the new ways of doing things and the new technologies required to make that happen, we have to increase investment by around 2-3 percentage points of GDP across the world, relative to the previous decade - more in some places, less in others – as well as change the composition of investment (in China, however, it is not a question of raising investment rates but changing the composition of investment). Many of these new technologies involve pulling capital increases forward, along with investing in different ways. Renewable electricity, for example, requires upfront investment whereas fuel cost savings are realised once the renewable technologies are operational. Importantly, these investments should not be seen narrowly in terms of extra costs from going “clean”; many of them have tremendous returns in terms of greater efficiency, cleaner air, better health and more. But an increase in the investment rate by 2-3 percentage points of GDP is needed to realise these gains, to recover sustainability and to put us on a new path…


    These increases in investment, will require strong policy and a positive investment climate, including the functioning of relevant governmental institutions. Further, the many relevant market failures (see section 7b) and the urgency of change indicate the necessity of a whole range of policy instruments. Carbon pricing will be important, but alone it will not be enough. Complementary policies, including city design, regulation and standards, and investments in R&D, will also be needed…


    Investment and innovation inevitably involve a certain amount of risk. Strong and rapid increases in investment might be seen as particularly risky, especially around infrastructure where early stage risk can be severe and the reliability of long-term revenue streams can be problematic. The necessary investment can be realised only with the right kind of finance, in the right place, at the right time, which can help reduce, share and manage the risk. Across the world there are great investment potential and strong savings. But there are important difficulties in turning opportunities into real investment programmes; good policies and social institutions have a powerful role to play…

    What we have learned since the Stern Review

    In the light of the policy analyses and arguments set out above, it is interesting to ask how issues and understanding have moved on since the publication of The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review (Stern, 2006) in October 2006. Fifteen years on, the review’s core finding – that the costs of inaction on climate change are much greater than the costs of action – which was compelling then, in my view, is now still stronger. First, the science is ever more worrying. Greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise. There is evidence that the impacts of climate change are happening faster and with greater intensity than expected. We can see ever more clearly that there are significant risks of major areas, with currently large populations, becoming unliveable; thus the risks of mass migration and conflict look increasingly severe. Each IPCC report over the last three decades has looked more worrying. The IPCC 2018 report showed how much more dangerous 2oC is than 1.5oC. And the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC on the physical science, published in August 2021, paints a still more difficult picture; time is running out for strong and decisive action if we are to hold temperature increases to 1.5oC…

    Part II

    How economics must change

    An assessment of what the current situation demands of us, particularly for this decade, was set out in Part I. That requires changing our ways of producing and consuming, rapidly and fundamentally, and creating the investment, innovation, sets of policies, and the finance that could foster and support the change. How can we bring our economics to bear in a way that informs those very real and urgent problems? How can we use economic analysis to tell us as much as it possibly can about why to do this, how to do this, and the methods and policy instruments we should use? In this section I will focus, in terms of broad analytical approaches, on where we are in the economics discipline on climate change and argue that it is time for change in the economics of climate change and, in some respects, economics generally. In the following section, 7, I will argue that our subject does have much to offer in applying our existing tools and in developing new perspectives and analyses, but we must be innovative and, as a profession, engage much more strongly on this, the biggest issue of our times…

    New approaches to the economics of climate change

    I have tried to explain the limitations of the IAMs in tackling the big questions at issue: the understanding and management of extreme risk and of rapid structural change. So, what are good approaches to the economics of climate change? We are going to need a suite of different models, a variety of perspectives, and a collection of different ways of understanding different parts of the problem. And then good judgement in putting all these pieces together…

    Responsibility, opportunity, collaboration and leadership

    The strategic challenge is to move to a net-zero carbon economy within a few decades. The economics of action must be focused on the achievement of fundamental economic change at real pace, where time matters (Stern, 2018). That will involve, as I have stressed, looking at innovation, behaviour change, political economy, and the dynamics of all those elements. And we will need all of economics to take on these problems: international, industrial, labour, health, education, environment, energy, economic history and more. We should not be too narrowly focussed on a sub-discipline within economics if we are going to take on big problems of this kind; we should be economists. And we must work with other social scientists, scientists and engineers. Though we may have our specialities, we have to recognise that most elements of economics come into the challenge of climate change. There has never been anything more important, there has never been anything more fascinating, and we have much to offer from our existing set of ideas and tools if we put them to use. And we must develop new analysis and perspectives around risks and change. That is why I think it is time for change in economics…

    Saturday, May 21, 2022

    Powerful Voices Say The New Energy Economy Is Here

    Here a few of the voices at CleanPower 2022 testify to the marketplace triumph of New Energy. From American Clean Power Association via YouTube

    Tesla’s Texas GigaFactory Brings The Batteries

    Tesla calls this factory “a legitimate gamechanger” and its 8 million square feet of manufacturing space certainly appear ready to move transportation electrification ahead. From The Tesla Space via YouTube

    Arizona’s “Impact Earth” Team

    Arizona has been slow to awaken tp the climate crisis, but now it is recognizing what is happening and responding. From greenmanbucket via YouTube

    Friday, May 20, 2022

    Europe’s New Energy Transition Accelerating

    Ukraine war sparks new energy pivot

    16 May 2022 (Private Equity Wire)

    “One of the key levers in the West’s response to Russia’s Ukraine invasion has involved the energy market. The US, UK and EU have all pledged to reduce their purchases of Russian oil and gas in the years ahead, improving energy security and making gas and oil prices less volatile in the long-term…[I]t appears that the new drive for energy independence and security will revolve around the energy transition to renewables…

    ...[G]lobal renewable energy capacity is expected to rise over 60 per cent from 2020 levels to over 4800GW by 2026. Renewables will account for 95 per cent of the increase in global power capacity to that date with solar PV responsible for more than 50 per cent, given its lower cost of production than wind…China will remain the global leader in terms of capacity additions with it expected to reach 1200GW of total wind and solar capacity in 2026. India, Europe and the US alongside China account for 80 per cent of renewable capacity expansion worldwide…

    …[A]nother result of the Ukraine conflict is an “acceleration of investments in renewable and associated cleantech infrastructure [such as] faster hydrogen development and interconnection of EU electric networks”, according to a recent note from Bank of America…Movements are already being seen by governments…[Private equity] involvement is set to surge…[with continued investment in renewable energy and new capital] for hydrogen projects such as storage and electrolyser plants…[PE investment sources are calling] for a mature approach to the power and renewables sectors…[with technical expertise] to better understand the risk…” click here for more

    New Energy Still The Best Buy

    Solar PV, wind costs climbing, but still way cheaper than fossil fuel – report

    Lameez Omarjee 12 May 2022 (FIN 24)

    “Increasing commodity and freight prices are driving up the costs of solar PV and wind turbines, but these renewable energy generators are still more cost-competitive than fossil fuels like coal and gas…[According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) [Renewable Energy Market Update and outlook for 2022 and 2023,] prices of raw materials and freight costs have been rising since the start of 2021. By March 2022, the steel price increased by 50%, copper increased by 70% and aluminium doubled. Freight costs were five times higher than they were in 2021.

    This means that the prices of wind turbines and solar PV modules or panels have had to increase - reversing the previous trend of declining prices…[Solar PV and wind prices are expected] to remain higher than pre-pandemic levels in 2022 and 2023…Rising freight costs are the main driver of higher wind prices, while solar PV increases are evenly split between freight and raw material costs…[But] higher prices of fossil fuels - natural gas, oil and coal - used in industrial processes and electricity supply to produce components in renewable energy technologies also drive costs…[and] renewable energy prices remain cost-competitive, as fossil fuel prices have risen at a much faster pace…

    …[Also,] residential and commercial users of solar PV have managed to reduce their electricity bills…[Renewable energy capacity is expected] to increase by 8% in 2022 and reach almost 320 GW. Solar PV is projected to be the front-running technology, accounting for 60% of global renewable capacity…The outlook for renewable energy deployment in 2023 depends heavily on the policy environment…[Russia's invasion of Ukraine] sparked a new urgency among some countries - especially the EU - to secure energy by transitioning clean generation while reducing dependence on fossil fuels from Russia…” click here for more

    Wednesday, May 18, 2022

    ORIGINAL REPORTING: California’s Rooftop Solar Supports Questioned

    Prominent Energy Experts and Terminator Blast CA’s Revised Support for Rooftop Solar

    Herman K. Trabish, January 18, 2022 (California Current)

    Editor’s note: The nation is watching what California will do about this.

    Those calling for overhauling the California Public Utilities Commission’s proposed changes in rooftop solar’s Net Energy Metering now include a former federal energy commission chair and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The pending decision’s “discriminatory fixed fees on existing and new solar and storage customers are unprecedented,” wrote a group of 10 energy experts in a Jan. 17 letter to the CPUC, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and California Energy Commission. The commission proposal would increase the average solar plus storage customer’s charge to $116/month for utility service, they estimated.

    That charge and a reduced per kWh credit to rooftop solar owners for generation exported to the grid would extend the investment’s payback period from the current seven to nine years to over 20 years, making solar plus storage “essentially unaffordable for just about all customers,” they said. “Most people agree that NEM needs to be reformed,” but this proposed decision “does grave injustice to the state’s ambitious goals for electrification and decarbonization,” added signatory Ahmad Faruqui, retired Brattle Group Principal and an economist-at-large. It offers a rebate for batteries but makes rooftop solar essentially out of reach financially, defeating the goal of growing storage to enhance system reliability.

    Signatories also include former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Jon Wellinghoff and Jim Lazar, author of the handbook Electricity Regulation in the U.S. Schwarzenegger agreed with their arguments in a Jan. 17 New York Times editorial. While he was the state chief, California’s 10-year “Million Solar Roofs” initiative was launched, kicking off California’s rooftop solar boom.

    California leads the nation in distributed solar, which has reached 1.3 million rooftop solar systems and over 10,000 MW of generation, but this achievement “is now under threat,” Schwarzenegger warned. The new fixed charges are essentially a “solar tax” discouraging the progress it claims to support. But he also welcomed proposed incentives to encourage adding batteries to existing and new solar installations and proposed funding of installations for low-income and disadvantaged communities.

    A CPUC-ordered study found the existing NEM “disproportionately harms low-income customers” and a January 2021 Lookback Study showed cost shifts to all customers, wrote CPUC Administrative Law Judge Kelly Hymes in her decision. This proposed decision meets Assembly Bill 327’s mandate to protect both rooftop solar growth and avoid cost shifts to other customers, she concluded…

    The pending NEM is a “massive” shift of system costs from low income non-solar owning customers to high income solar owners, argued University of California Energy Institute at Haas Director and Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy Severin Borenstein, a member of the California Independent System Operator Board of Governors, in support of the proposed decision. Rooftop solar is a “much more costly way to provide renewable energy, creates less value for the grid than alternatives, and the current NEM “is a very bad way to subsidize it,” Borenstein added… click here for more

    The Transportation Electrification Policy Fight Goes On

    The 50 States of Electric Vehicles: Federal Infrastructure Funding and Managed Charging Programs in Focus During Q1 2022

    May 4, 2022 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center [NCCETC])

    “…[The Q1 2022 edition of The 50 States of Electric Vehicles finds that all 50 states and the District of Columbia took actions related to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure during Q1 2022…[The greatest number of actions related] to rebate programs, grant programs, rate design for vehicle charging, and state procurement of electric vehicles…A total of 627 electric vehicle actions were taken…[The most active states were] Massachusetts, Illinois, California, New York, Minnesota, and Hawaii…[I]n 2022, 21 states have enacted legislation related to transportation electrification…[Three Q1 2022 trends were] (1) states planning for federal electric vehicle infrastructure funding, (2) utilities developing active managed charging pilot programs, and (3) state lawmakers addressing charging infrastructure siting issues…

    …[Five of the top policy developments of the quarter were] Washington lawmakers approving a light-duty vehicle electrification target…Utilities filing new managed charging pilots in North Carolina and Wisconsin…Missouri regulators approving new utility transportation electrification programs…The Governor of North Carolina increasing the state’s zero-emission vehicle adoption target…[and] Georgia legislators adopting a resolution to study transportation electrification…” click here for more

    Monday, May 16, 2022

    Monday Study – The Everywhere Drive To Modernize The Grid

    The 50 States of Grid Modernization: Q1 2022

    Rebekah de la Mora Brian Lips Vincent Potter Autumn Proudlove David Sarkisian, April 2022 (North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center)

    Executive Summary


    Grid modernization is a broad term, lacking a universally accepted definition. In this report, the authors use the term grid modernization broadly to refer to actions making the electricity system more resilient, responsive, and interactive. Specifically, in this report grid modernization includes legislative and regulatory actions addressing: (1) smart grid and advanced metering infrastructure, (2) utility business model reform, (3) regulatory reform, (4) utility rate reform, (5) energy storage, (6) microgrids, and (7) demand response.


    In the first quarter of 2022, 49 states plus DC took a total of 578 policy and deployment actions related to grid modernization, utility business model and rate reform, energy storage, microgrids, and demand response. Table 1 provides a summary of state and utility actions on these topics. Of the 578 actions catalogued, the most common were related to deployment (128), policies (104), and financial incentives (103).


    Five of the quarter’s top policy developments are highlighted below.

    Virginia Regulators Approve Dominion Energy’s Grid Transformation Plan

    In January 2022, the Virginia State Corporation Commission approved Dominion Energy’s Phase II Grid Transformation Plan. The $666.5 million plan includes investments in AMI, a customer information platform, a DER management system, intelligent grid devices, fault isolation and service restoration, voltage optimization, and cybersecurity. Dominion has also provided a timeline for system-wide implementation of time-varying rates and an opt-in systemwide peak time rebate program.

    Grid Modernization Roadmap Released in New Mexico

    The New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department released its grid modernization roadmap in January 2022, following a working group process. The roadmap includes a number of consensus recommendations, including investing in AMI, updating interconnection rules and advanced inverter standards, creating a transmission planning group, and strategically deploying energy storage.

    Hawaii PUC Approves Bring Your Own Device Tariff Framework

    The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission issued an order in January 2022, establishing an advanced DER tariff offering, which will be a Bring Your Own Device tariff. The tariff will include three enrollment options – Level 1 will involve participants making certain dispatch commitments, Level 2 will involve the utility controlling dispatch for a predetermined number of events, and Level 3 will involve compensation for system grid services. The details of these tariff options will be addressed further in Phase 2 of the proceeding.

    Maine and New Hampshire Regulators Address Statewide Energy Data Platforms

    The Maine Public Utilities Commission completed its report on the feasibility of a statewide energy data platform during Q1 2022, finding that there is no existing solution that can provide the desired functionality and that the cost and complexity for such a platform would be significant. Meanwhile, New Hampshire regulators approved a design and framework for a statewide energy data platform authorized by 2019 legislation.

    New Jersey Regulators Approve AMI Deployment for Jersey Central Power & Light

    The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities issued an order in February 2022, approving Jersey Central Power & Light’s proposed deployment of AMI throughout its service territory. The utility will install 1.15 million advanced meters, totaling $390 million in capital investment. The decision also specifies that customer AMI usage data belongs to the customer, who may share it with third parties.


    The most common types of actions across the country related to energy storage deployment (80), utility business model reforms (51), smart grid deployment (43), advanced metering infrastructure deployment (35), and time-varying rates (30).

    The states taking the greatest number of actions related to grid modernization in Q1 2022 can be seen in Figure 4. New York, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and Minnesota saw the most action during the quarter, followed by Michigan, Hawaii, Washington, Connecticut, and Missouri. Overall, 49 states, plus DC, took actions related to grid modernization in Q1 2022.


    States Examining Decommissioning and Recycling of Energy Storage Systems

    State legislatures considered numerous bills during Q1 2022 calling for the examination of decommissioning and recycling processes for energy storage systems. South Carolina lawmakers enacted a bill directing the Department of Health and Environmental Control to develop regulations to manage the decommissioning of solar and energy storage systems in excess of 13 acres. In Virginia, state legislators enacted bills requiring that the State Corporation Commission create a task force to analyze the life cycle of energy facilities including solar, wind, and/or battery storage. The study is to address recycling and salvage opportunities, waste strategies, and decommissioning. Legislation introduced in Tennessee would require a study that addresses end-of-life management for energy storage systems, while a Louisiana bill would establish decommissioning requirements for solar facilities, including those with energy storage.

    Utilities Pursuing Resiliency-As-A-Service Programs

    A growing number of utilities are requesting approval for “resiliency-as-a-service” programs involving customer-sited, utility-owned battery storage. In California, Liberty Utilities filed an application for a customer resiliency program, including a behind-the-meter battery energy storage offering targeting medical baseline, critical infrastructure, and large commercial segments. Liberty Utilities will own and maintain the storage systems, with participants making monthly payments. Xcel Energy filed an application with Colorado regulators to implement a resiliency service program tariff, providing utility-owned battery storage or other resiliency assets to commercial customers. DTE Electric proposed a customer-sited, utility-owned residential and commercial battery storage program in Michigan, and Georgia Power is currently developing a resilience asset service tariff to provide utility-owned distributed energy resources to commercial and industrial customers.

    State Legislators Exploring Financing and Incentives for Resiliency Improvements

    Across the country, state legislators have been considering new incentives and financing opportunities for resiliency improvements, including battery storage and microgrids. Legislation introduced in Louisiana would establish a disaster resiliency and grid stability battery incentive program, while a bill that did not advance in Florida would have created an energy security and disaster resilience pilot focused on solar-plus-storage for critical disaster resilience facilities. A Colorado bill would create a grant program to support microgrids for community resilience, and a bill introduced in California would provide grants to help local governments develop community energy resilience plans. Several states considered bills that would allow resiliency improvements to qualify for property assessed clean energy financing, with bills in Alaska and Pennsylvania advancing through one chamber and bills in Virginia and Wisconsin being signed into law.