Opinion

The latest opinion pieces by industry thought leaders


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  • Electric transmission lines alongside a highway.
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    Roberto N via Getty Images
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    With huge capital needs, the power sector’s founding regulatory principle is more critical than ever

    Any possible energy future is a capital-intensive one, with capital needs that will only increase as the U.S. demand wave and load growth continue.

    Ray Gifford and Matt Larson • July 18, 2024
  • Solar panels and wind turbines in the desert producing renewable energy.
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    narvikk via Getty Images
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    Nowhere to sell: As local bans proliferate, renewable energy companies must prioritize politics

    The polluters who want to kill the energy transition have created political headwinds that are grinding the transition to a halt for everyone else, including the companies that really do want to move away from dirty fuels.

    Ayelet Hines • July 17, 2024
  • Tucson Electric Power plant with ten gas-fueled engines
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    Permission granted by Wärtsilä
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    When it comes to new thermal generation, small is beautiful

    IOUs have long favored larger projects that benefit from economies of scale. However, the evolving energy market suggests investing in smaller, modular, flexible and decentralized power plants is a smarter approach.

    July 15, 2024
  • Woman using app on Phone to control digital central heating thermostat at home
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    monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images
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    The No. 1 untapped tool for utilities to engage next-gen energy customers? Influencers.

    To overcome existing frictions, energy companies must reach customers where they already are and seamlessly insert education and brand stories.

    Kate Finley • July 9, 2024
  • High voltage pylons with electric power lines transfering electricity from solar photovoltaic cells at sunrise.
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    Bilanol via Getty Images
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    Two bold ideas to change the energy industry forever

    Now may be an ideal time to make dramatic, fundamental changes to how we transport electricity, deliver it to customers and fund new projects, writes Anthony Allard, head of Hitachi Energy, North America.

    Anthony Allard • July 3, 2024
  • Electric transmission lines against a blue and yellow sky.
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    Fleem via Getty Images
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    Eliminating the discord over FERC Order 1920 — what’s the role for states?

    Instead of fighting the rule, a coordinated effort by states of all stripes to help implement the order will ensure least cost, least regrets transmission planning.

    Devin Hartman and Kent Chandler • July 2, 2024
  • A YIMBY approach to the transmission buildout

    Just as housing advocates are finding new allies at the state and local level for their YIMBY — Yes in My Backyard — movement, the energy community should seek to cultivate proactive community demand for transmission projects.

    Robin Allen • June 28, 2024
  • UW Oshkosh Foundation Rosendale Digester
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    Permission granted by American Biogas Council
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    America will need 500 TWh more power in 2028. This simple solution could help.

    To help solve our grid load dilemma, the U.S. could produce at least 166 terawatt hours of renewable electricity just with the methane captured from biogas projects and recycling our organic waste.

    Patrick Serfass • June 27, 2024
  • Electric transmission lines alongside a highway.
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    Roberto N via Getty Images
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    Transmission planning’s next frontier: A rebuttable presumption for modern grid technologies

    Regulators should apply the principle of ‘rebuttable presumption’ — accepting a given fact as true until it is disproved — by ensuring that alternative transmission technologies are prioritized in evaluating system needs.

    Jason Marshall • June 11, 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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    Forward-thinking investments and increased power grid flexibility can prevent wildfires

    A methodology being developed by Lawrence Berkekey National Lab and others assesses different wildfire mitigation approaches to determine the optimal portfolio of investments to protect power grids.

    Alexandre Moreira • June 10, 2024
  • A wind farm in Minnesota.
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    PBouman via Getty Images
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    Minnesota’s permitting reforms will accelerate its clean energy boom and can serve as a national model

    The Energy Infrastructure Permitting Act is expected to cut permitting time for individual projects by nine months to a year, shortening the overall approval timeline by 50% or more.

    Mel Mackin • June 5, 2024
  • Abstract 3D image of a city with blue lines for streets and buildings on a black background
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    shulz via Getty Images
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    Responsible AI in energy: Balancing efficiency, sustainability and trust in a high-stakes industry

    Stringent regulations, safety considerations and environmental expectations necessitate robust risk management as AI adoption accelerates in the energy sector.

    Alyssa Lefaivre Škopac and Patrick McAndrew • June 4, 2024
  • A yellow electric school bus is plugged in at a charging station.
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    Stock Photo via Getty Images
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    Why EPA’s support of school bus electrification is the clear choice to improve America’s future

    Focusing on top-line sticker prices obscures the total cost of ownership of electric school buses, as well as their end-of-life value.

    Albert Gore • June 3, 2024
  • Radiation hazard warning sign depicted on a concrete wall
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    Nikolay Chekalin via Getty Images
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    Mitigating nuclear industry whistleblower risk after the Supreme Court’s Murray v. UBS ruling

    The court’s decision presents an opportunity for employers in the nuclear industry to review their practices and take practical steps to minimize their potential exposure under the Energy Reorganization Act.

    Jane Accomando and Lincoln Bisbee • May 24, 2024
  • Solar panels and wind turbines in a field
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    imacoconut via Getty Images
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    Investing in green companies: Why private equity should lead the charge

    Investing in green companies not only addresses pressing environmental concerns but offers compelling financial returns as well.

    Hajar Jouglaf • May 22, 2024
  • (for Utility Dive storage series)
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    Adeline Kon/Utility Dive
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    We need long-duration storage for a cleaner and reliable grid. Here’s how policymakers can help.

    States could require utilities to procure long-duration energy storage resources to help meet resource adequacy requirements.

    Rich Glick • May 21, 2024
  • Abstract 3D image of a city with blue lines for streets and buildings on a black background
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    shulz via Getty Images
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    Grid modernization plans must consider quantum computing, AI, other innovations

    Any policy related to upgrading the grid must include a focus on using new technologies to make the most of these significant investments.

    Christina Hayes and Allison Schwartz • May 20, 2024
  • Industrial background group silhouette of transmission towers (or power tower, electricity pylon, steel lattice tower) at suburb area in Texas, USA.
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    Trong Nguyen via Getty Images
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    FERC Order 1920 is a big step forward on transmission planning, but it is not the end game

    The rule provides the raw ingredients to transmission providers and states, FERC Commissioner Allison Clements writes, but the grid of the future will not be built if these entities do not come together and start cooking.

    Allison Clements • May 15, 2024
  • Woman using app on Phone to control digital central heating thermostat at home
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    monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images
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    Requiem for a DRAM: Charting the future of demand response in California

    The current situation is anathema to California’s long-running efforts to build a balanced and open market for demand response, one in which utilities and third-party providers compete on a level playing field.

    Collin Smith • May 14, 2024
  • A rendering of electric power lines against the backdrop of a twilit sky
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    Imaginima via Getty Images
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    With 78% of requested investments approved, US regulators are backing grid modernization

    Contrary to the conventional opinion that regulation is an obstacle to grid modernization, regulators have, in fact, largely demonstrated strong support over the past six years.

    Kathy (Huishan) Hu • May 13, 2024
  • A yellow electric school bus is plugged in at a charging station.
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    Stock Photo via Getty Images
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    Why the EPA shouldn’t favor school bus electrification

    The environmental benefits of vehicle electrification are not as obvious as once thought, and the grid is simply not ready to service the load.

    Tucker Perkins • May 10, 2024
  • Electric pylons in a field.
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    VISION4RY-L4NGU4GE via Getty Images
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    Competition in transmission ownership does not lower consumer costs

    Opponents of right-of-first-refusal laws claim that incumbent transmission providers have no incentive to reduce costs. The exact opposite is true.

    Bill Marsan • May 9, 2024
  • A view of an industrial chimney releasing fumes, steam and polluting gases
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    Jose Gulias Trigas via Getty Images
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    There are 3 fundamental problems with Scope 2 GHG accounting. Here’s how to fix them.

    Society cannot afford actions and expenditures to support claims of progress while not accomplishing real-world emission reductions.

    Neil Fisher, Roger Ballentine and Armond Cohen • May 8, 2024
  • One of the buildings of the Soleil Lofts apartment complex in Herriman, Utah
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    Permission granted by sonnen, Inc.
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    If you want ‘virtual power plants,’ first define them

    Persistent confusion around VPPs may impede successful policymaking, challenging regulatory commissions, stalling deployments and delaying important benefits to our electricity system.

    Ted Ko • May 7, 2024
  • Smoke stack of coal power plant
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    martin_33 via Getty Images
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    If EPA’s latest power plant rules seem familiar, don’t get fooled again!

    The power plant rule that EPA announced on April 25 closely resembles Obama’s Clean Power Plan in key respects — and it will almost certainly suffer the same fate.

    Sam Thernstrom • May 6, 2024