Deep Dive

Industry insights from our journalists


  • Electricity transmission towers with glowing wires.
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    2024 PJM Outlook: Tough choices loom on capacity market, plant retirements, transmission planning

    Ensuring that enough new generation comes online to replace retiring power plants is a key issue that threads through PJM’s expected focus this year, stakeholders and observers said.

    Ethan Howland • Feb. 29, 2024
  • Pylon with power lines against reddish sky at sunset, rural North Carolina, USA.
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    Karl Weatherly via Getty Images
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    Congressional action on energy permitting remains stuck, but states, developers are finding solutions

    States are resolving local objections to projects through community engagement while transmission developers are making innovative use of existing rights-of-way to bypass permitting logjams.

    Herman K. Trabish • Feb. 27, 2024
  • A forest fire burns under a high voltage transmission line in California.
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    My Photo Buddy via Getty Images
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    As wildfires losses mount, will commercial insurers decline to cover utilities?

    As Xcel Energy, PG&E, Hawaiian Electric and others confront catastrophic wildfires, industry observers believe the growing risk could spur innovation in commercial insurance that ultimately benefits utilities.

    Emma Penrod • Jan. 31, 2024
  • Solar panels and wind turbines in a field
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    imacoconut via Getty Images
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    New solutions emerge to better integrate renewables into the grid, Xcel, Eversource and others say

    Requiring the 400+ GW of battery capacity in U.S. interconnection queues to have grid-forming capabilities could enable variable renewables growth “cheaper and faster than adding new transmission,” one expert said.

    Herman K. Trabish • Jan. 25, 2024
  • SEC Chairman Gary Gensler takes part in a meeting.
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    Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images
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    To keep or not to keep: The fate of scope 3 emissions in SEC’s climate disclosure rule

    Given all of the pushback the agency has received over its proposed rule, particularly scope 3 reporting requirements, experts are uncertain if scope 3 will make the final cut.

    Zoya Mirza • Jan. 25, 2024
  • Silhouette of young engineer holding laptop computer planning and working for the energy industry and standing beside a wind turbines farm power station at sunset time
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    BulentBARIS via Getty Images
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    Utility Business Outlook: Power prices stay elevated as elections sow uncertainty for clean energy plans

    For utilities and the clean energy sector, 2024 could bring “an exceptional level of volatility and opportunity,” according to Bank of America Global Research analysts.

    Robert Walton • Jan. 23, 2024
  • Pylon with power lines against reddish sky at sunset, rural North Carolina, USA.
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    Karl Weatherly via Getty Images
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    Renewable Energy Outlook: Addressing supply chain, project hurdles could see dividends in 2024

    It may be a blessing in disguise for the offshore wind industry that so many developers had to delay or cancel projects last year, one attorney said.

    Diana DiGangi • Jan. 18, 2024
  • Workers building a high-voltage transmission line.
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    Siripak Pason via Getty Images
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    As reliability concerns with renewables rise, upgrading inverters is urgent, analysts say

    The variable output of renewable energy resources requires “grid-forming” inverters to protect power system current flows, engineers and others agree.

    Herman K. Trabish • Jan. 2, 2024
  • Connecticut State Capitol
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    Eversource wary about attracting investor capital as Connecticut moves to forefront of PBR trend

    Connecticut utilities’ credit and financials will remain stable or improve when performance-based regulation is fully implemented, just as they did for Hawaiian Electric, said the state’s chief utility regulator.

    Herman K. Trabish • Dec. 5, 2023
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    Adeline Kon/Utility Dive
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    The energy storage space is heating up. Here are some of the technologies making a dent.

    Utility Dive took a look at four technologies, and spoke to some of the companies spearheading them, to get a better picture of the emerging energy storage landscape.

    Kavya Balaraman • Dec. 5, 2023
  • Corn field with transmission lines and wind turbines.
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    kflGALORE via Getty Images
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    Can ERCOT show the way to faster and cheaper grid interconnection?

    With the "connect and manage" process, which doesn’t require network upgrades, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas brought 14.2 GW online in the last two years, more than any other grid operator.

    Ethan Howland • Nov. 27, 2023
  • An array of photovoltaic solar panels at the Berliner Wasserbetriebe are seen on April 30, 2010 in Berlin, Germany.
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    Andreas Rentz via Getty Images
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    More powerful, resilient and versatile: The next generation of solar tech is emerging

    “This is a great time to be involved with solar technology,” said Chris Deline, head of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s photovoltaic field performance group.

    Diana DiGangi • Nov. 16, 2023
  • Hyundai vehicles displayed for sale at a new car dealership.
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    Justin Sullivan/Staff/Getty Images North America via Getty Images
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    EV sales are rising. So why are automakers nervous?

    Slower sales growth, lower prices and growing inventories have spooked carmakers, leading some to reconsider their electric vehicle plans to bolster their finances.

    Michael Brady • Nov. 13, 2023
  • An adult and a child looking at a field with wind turbines
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    iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images
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    Duke, others leverage new IRA rules to finance clean energy, but cost, complexity are hurdles

    New tax credit provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act could more than triple the $20 billion annual tax equity market that today finances clean energy in the U.S., if various challenges can be overcome.

    Herman K. Trabish • Nov. 6, 2023
  • Technicians install heat pump systems at a training facility.
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    Leon Neal via Getty Images
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    Heat pumps are hot, but commercial retrofits face cold realities

    Government decarbonization strategies call for widespread deployment of heat pumps for building heating and cooling, but experts warn of retrofit costs, disruption and other concerns.

    Nish Amarnath • Nov. 1, 2023
  • EV charging
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images
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    Utilities, charging companies battle over EV fast chargers, slowing deployment amid massive needs

    State and federal policies are driving utilities and EV charger providers to transform U.S. transportation. They have found common ground in some areas but cannot agree on the utility role in fast charging deployment.

    Herman K. Trabish • Oct. 18, 2023
  • Solar panels on rooftops in a leafy, suburban neighborhood.
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    RoschetzkyIstockPhoto via Getty Images
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    Rising electrification requires a dramatic shift to integrated planning of DER, bulk resources: Xcel VP

    Effective distribution system planning and merging analytic insights into comprehensive electricity planning both face barriers, analysts and stakeholders said.

    Herman K. Trabish • Sept. 20, 2023
  • The front of a silver car is connected to an electric vehicle charger.
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    Drew Angerer via Getty Images
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    How utilities are partnering with GM, BMW, Lyft and others in the auto sector to accelerate EV adoption

    Automakers and utilities “are now partners until the end of time, whether they like it or not,” said Joel Levin, executive director of Plug In America.

    Robert Walton • Sept. 6, 2023
  • Electrical engineer while working laptop near a power line.
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    aydinmutlu via Getty Images
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    The American power system is changing. How can electricity rates keep up?

    As the industry prepares for the electrification of different sectors of the economy, experts are looking at new ways to make electricity rates more equitable. 

    Kavya Balaraman • Aug. 24, 2023
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    Permission granted by Solstice
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    A community solar boom will test Xcel, other utility plans against developer, customer needs: analysts

    New state and federal funding and initiatives for community solar can bring equity and system reliability to the emerging energy transition, analysts say.

    Herman K. Trabish • Aug. 10, 2023
  • Solar panels and wind turbines in a field
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    imacoconut via Getty Images
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    Cautious investors and fast cash: Why AEP, Duke and other utilities have sold their renewable assets

    Conditions following the COVID-19 pandemic have led a swath of utility companies to put their competitive renewable energy assets up for sale. Analysts are unsure how long the trend will last.

    Emma Penrod • July 27, 2023
  • A stylized stock chart is superimposed over a picture of U.S. dollars.
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    The meaning of an ‘optimal’ clean energy investment is changing as prices rise, analysts report

    Inflation Reduction Act incentives and supply-demand imbalances have developers and off-takers recalculating the value of clean energy.

    Herman K. Trabish • July 13, 2023
  • The silhouette of the high voltage power lines during sunset.
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    imaginima via Getty Images
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    Four non-transmission solutions for clean energy with new power lines in the permitting ‘Valley of Death’

    Smart technologies, storage, overbuilding and distributed resources can move the energy transition ahead until workable reforms bring new transmission online, stakeholders agreed

    Herman K. Trabish • June 21, 2023
  • cryptocurrency graphic
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    Dan Kitwood via Getty Images
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    As states differ on the benefits of Bitcoin, is there a solution to its climate and power-system impacts?

    Bitcoin miners’ 24/7 electricity need and financial focus raise red flags for climate activists about increased fossil fuel use, but some miners are starting to see a new solution in clean energy.

    Herman K. Trabish • June 8, 2023
  • Windmill farm in the desert at sunset in Palm Springs, California with power lines going to the city.
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    Gunther Fraulob via Getty Images
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    California energy players fear isolation, reliability impacts as SPP eyes Western market expansion

    Experts in California worry that as the Southwest Power Pool's energy market proposals move forward, California could lose access to renewable energy resources that are critical to the state’s grid.  

    Kavya Balaraman • May 30, 2023