Opinion

The latest opinion pieces by industry thought leaders


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  • Close-up View Of Electric Meters On Wall With Blurred Background
    Image attribution tooltip
    onurdongel via Getty Images

    Today’s rate designs are defective. How can utilities better recover their fixed costs, and from whom?

    Volumetric rates, which place much of a utility’s fixed costs in the usage (KWh) charge of a tariff, have created a number of social problems as they relate to economic efficiency and equity.

    Kenneth W. Costello • Nov. 22, 2022
  • A Hyliion hybrid battery
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    Courtesy of Hyliion

    Second-life EV batteries can bolster the energy storage market — if major challenges can be overcome

    With 80% of a battery’s capacity left at the end of its useful life in a vehicle and current constraints on supply chains for new batteries, repurposing electric vehicle batteries seems like a no-brainer. 

    Emily Goldfield • Nov. 21, 2022
  • Electrical power grid and power line towers at sunset.
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    YinYang via Getty Images

    Cross-border power trade can help leaders at COP27 facilitate emissions reductions

    Enhancing cross-border power trade can help achieve global greenhouse gas reduction goals by efficiently integrating low-cost renewable resources while improving electricity affordability and security.

    Jennifer Chen, Edmund Downie and Noah Kittner • Nov. 16, 2022
  • A suburb in Utah.
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    RichLegg via Getty Images

    The Inflation Reduction Act leaves low-income homeowners out of the clean energy transition. Or does it?

    The IRA has a major flaw in one of its most popular provisions – the residential tax credit for solar and battery storage. Low-income homeowners often do not have a tax liability and cannot access this 30% tax credit.

    Shelley Robbins • Nov. 15, 2022
  • Northeast's Largest Public Electric Vehicle Fast-Charging Station Opens At JFK Airport.
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    The clock is ticking: Urgent steps New York must take to achieve its climate targets

    New York needs to act now to improve climate resilience, electrify the transportation system, decarbonize the gas system, and identify equitable economy-wide solutions to cut carbon emissions.

    Mary Barber • Nov. 11, 2022
  • Solar panels in front of the U.S. Capitol dome.
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    Douglas Rissing via Getty Images

    Inflation Reduction Act adds fuel to RTO reform imperative, generator interconnection backlog

    The new law also puts transmission planning and permitting on center stage while increasing the need for on-demand generation.

    Tony Clark • Nov. 8, 2022
  • New York City, USA midtown Manhattan skyline at dusk.
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    Sean Pavone/iStock/Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

    New York’s building decarbonization goals may be unachievable without a new technology boost

    Building developers and government mandates should consider newly developed solar PV windows to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, the author writes.

    Arnold R. Wallenstein • Nov. 4, 2022
  • TVA nuclear plant
    Image attribution tooltip
    "TVA nuclear plant" by Tennessee Valley Authority is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    As Memphis Light, Gas and Water weighs an exit, is TVA headed for a renewable energy sea change?

    TVA could soon be facing a widespread defection of other local power companies, opening the field to an increasingly renewable future for its customers, the author writes.

    Gaby Sarri-Tobar • Nov. 3, 2022
  • Storage, demand-side innovation, neighbors and a bit of luck — reliability lessons from summer 2022

    Examining how the U.S. avoided major power shortages this summer can help grid operators, utilities and regulators improve reliability and avoid resource adequacy challenges without disrupting the transition to low-carbon resources.

    Eric Gimon and Mike O’Boyle • Nov. 2, 2022
  • Wind farm with transmission lines.
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    Rolf Wittke via Getty Images

    Clean energy expertise for the PJM board should be the easiest vote members ever cast

    At a time when some 95% of the energy projects waiting to connect to the PJM grid are solar, wind, hybrid or battery storage, how could the grid’s board of directors not include someone with expertise in these energy sources? 

    Albert Pollard • Oct. 24, 2022
  • Solar Panels covered in Snow during Winter Storm in Austin , Texas.
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    RoschetzkyIstockPhoto via Getty Images

    How two Minnesota cooperatives agreed to a new relationship to prepare for the future grid

    An agreement last month between Great River Energy and Connexus is a novel way for generation and transmission cooperatives and local co-ops to develop new relationships during the energy transition.

    Gabriel Chan and Matthew Grimley • Oct. 21, 2022
  • A Volvo VNR Electric charges at the high-powered chargers available to fleets at TEC Equipment, Fontana.
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    Courtesy of Volvo Trucks

    As the electric truck transition shifts into high gear, utilities must lead the charge

    Utilities can support truck and bus electrification with streamlined infrastructure processes, proactive planning and active outreach.

    Pamela MacDougall and Katie M. Sloan • Oct. 18, 2022
  • A picture of wind turbines in front of solar panels in Palm Springs, California.
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    Kevork Djansezian via Getty Images

    California’s far-reaching climate law will usher in a zero-carbon economy. Now the state needs a follow-up plan.

    Our clean energy deployment plan calls for a single agency to lead state efforts while ensuring transparency, accountability, equity and environmental justice.

    Armond Cohen and Michael Colvin • Oct. 17, 2022
  • Power lines course through the hills east of San Francisco Bay.
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    John Randall Alves via Getty Images

    FERC isn’t acting fast enough to strengthen the grid. Here’s one thing Congress can do.

    Congress can and should shore up energy resilience by establishing a clear standard for inter-regional transmission support, the authors write.

    Liza Reed and Andrew Xu • Oct. 11, 2022
  • Solar energy
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    Pixabay.com/seagul

    How an unlikely trio helped secure billions for rural electric cooperatives

    As rural communities watch wind and solar farms begin to dot their landscape, many want to ensure rural America can own, not just host, the clean energy transition, the authors write.

    Duane Highley, Ramón Cruz and Erik Hatlestad • Oct. 10, 2022
  • High voltage pylons with electric power lines transfering electricity from solar photovoltaic cells at sunrise.
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    Bilanol via Getty Images

    A transmission boom is needed to realize the Inflation Reduction Act’s benefits, and it will pay for itself

    Transmission is the key enabling technology for a clean electricity system because it allows higher-quality energy resources and better utilization of those resources, the author writes.

    Barbara Tyran • Oct. 6, 2022
  • High voltage pylons with electric power lines transfering electricity from solar photovoltaic cells at sunrise.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Bilanol via Getty Images

    Broken markets: Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh, and the global strain on the single clearing price

    A single clearing price auction is no longer a viable or desirable way to sell power because the power market is now segmented into differentiated products, the authors write.

    Ray Gifford and Matt Larson • Oct. 4, 2022
  • Electricity transmission towers with glowing wires against the starry sky.
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    Artur Nichiporenko via Getty Images

    FERC, state utility regulators, and the arsonist’s dilemma

    State and federal officials have saturated power markets with unworkable policies and are now openly lamenting the inability of those markets to deliver the results they expect, the author writes.

    Todd Snitchler • Oct. 3, 2022
  • A hydrogen tank with solar panels in the foreground and wind turbines in the background.
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    Scharfsinn86 via Getty Images

    The Inflation Reduction Act upends hydrogen economics with opportunities, pitfalls

    Regulators and policymakers must resist the temptation to overcommit to hydrogen for end uses where electrification will ultimately win out, the authors write.

    Dan Esposito and Hadley Tallackson • Sept. 30, 2022
  • 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

    The California energy problem is structural, not political

    The deregulation experiment in California that created energy markets isn't working for reliability or for customers. Unless it is addressed, things will only get worse, the author writes.

    Brad Viator • Sept. 29, 2022
  • Team of workers install rooftop solar.
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    Adam Kaz via Getty Images

    Moving beyond California’s one-sided view of reliability

    We need a path to quickly scale the complete set of energy resources needed to match renewable generation with statewide load at all times, the author writes.

    Sam Maslin • Sept. 27, 2022
  • Rows of blue solar panels stretch into the desert horizon.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Retrieved from BLM California.

    Is the Inflation Reduction Act the end of the wholesale clean attribute market?

    The IRA may reduce any real or perceived tension between wholesale markets and state policies and the need for other mechanisms to harmonize wholesale markets and state policies, the authors write.

    Sarah Ladin & Burçin Ünel • Sept. 23, 2022
  • Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Building in Washington DC
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    qingwa via Getty Images

    The maxim of the SEC’s climate rule: What you don’t know can hurt you

    The standardized disclosures of climate risks will effectively lay bare companies’ readiness to transition to low-carbon operating models and the mounting physical hazards they face, the authors write.

    Bob Hinkle and Lisa Jacobson • Sept. 22, 2022
  • Pike Electric service trucks line up after a snow storm on February 16, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas.
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    Ron Jenkins via Getty Images

    Secretive committee of utility insiders could undermine Texas energy leadership and affordability

    The Texas Legislature needs to ensure that self-interested electric generation actors are not sacrificing Texas families and businesses to protect their market share, the author writes.

    Landon Stevens • Sept. 20, 2022
  • Solar panel installer installing solar panels on roof of modern house.
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    Eloi Omella via Getty Images

    Taking the utility monopoly door down to put more solar up

    A proposal by Sunnova would end nearly a century of guaranteed monopoly for California utilities by letting other companies not just sell power but use an alternative delivery system to the utility's platform, the author writes.

    John Farrell • Sept. 15, 2022