The latest opinion pieces by industry thought leaders

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  • An aerial view of a wind farm in Iowa.
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    Alena Mozhjer via Getty Images
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    Community solar is hot. Why not community wind?

    Perhaps the biggest difference between yesterday’s community wind and today’s community solar markets is in their business models, which reflect their respective market and policy environments. 

    Mark Bolinger and Bentham Paulos • Sept. 27, 2023
  • Wind mills and solar panels.
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    imaginima via Getty Images
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    Customer-driven clean energy procurement, not regulation, is driving decarbonization

    In 2022, voluntary renewable energy procurement deals by corporate and institutional customers were equivalent to 70% of the carbon-free energy capacity added to the grid.

    Kevin Hagen • Sept. 25, 2023
  • Utility Electrical Transmission Lines.
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    Douglas Rissing via Getty Images
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    Retail ‘choice’: A bad deal for consumers and the planet

    Data from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois and several other states confirm that families pay far too much when they sign up for alternative electric supply instead of sticking with their utility companies.

    Jenifer Bosco • Sept. 22, 2023
  • Several vehicles lined up along a curb are blurred while in the foreground a white and silver electric vehicle charger is in focus.
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    Permission granted by Enel X Way North America
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    We’re asking the wrong question about EVs and grid resiliency

    The U.S. has already passed the tipping point for mass electric vehicle adoption. Grid modernization must quickly follow, writes Chris Baker, the head of Enel X Way North America.

    Chris Baker • Sept. 19, 2023
  • Renewable Energy Image Photo
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    Getty Images via Getty Images
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    When it comes to government funding for clean energy, money isn’t everything

    The rush to secure billions in clean energy and infrastructure funding has the potential to be disastrous if it goes wrong.

    Anne Clawson • Sept. 18, 2023
  • Clean energy wind turbines and solar panels with a high-voltage transmission line.
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    onurdongel via Getty Images
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    Competitive power markets are cleaner, cheaper and safer

    Competitive market systems have proven more effective at driving cost-effective decarbonization than single-utility markets, all while fostering reliability and long-term planning.

    Jon Wellinghoff and Pat Wood • Sept. 15, 2023
  • transmission lines
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    Ruud Morijn via Getty Images
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    The grid needs to get together

    To transform the grid to meet the reliability and resilience needs of consumers, we must have meaningful interregional transmission policy in this country.

    Kelly Speakes-Backman • Sept. 14, 2023
  • Electrical Power Transmission Lines at Sunset.
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    Ed Lallo via Getty Images
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    FERC’s Christie raises issues that need raising about the RTO state of mind

    Recent remarks by Commissioner Mark Christie raise a valid question: What is the state of mind of RTO/ISO constructs, and can they drive an affordable, reliable and decarbonized future?

    Raymond L. Gifford and Matthew S. Larson • Sept. 13, 2023
  • Smoke stack of coal power plant
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    martin_33 via Getty Images
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    EPA’s proposed carbon rules omit both the peaker problem and the peaker solution

    The EPA completely overlooked co-located battery storage as a “best system of emissions reduction” in its latest proposal to reduce carbon emissions from fossil-fueled power plants.

    Shelley Robbins • Sept. 12, 2023
  • cybersecurity
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    Patterson, Richard. Retrieved from Flickr.
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    Security by design’s shining moment: Cybersecurity for the energy transformation

    Strategic imperatives for today’s DER ecosystem — vendors, operators, integrators and utilities — could introduce a more secure and resilient grid tomorrow.

    Danielle Jablanski • Sept. 11, 2023
  • Solar panels and wind turbines in the desert producing renewable energy.
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    narvikk via Getty Images
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    Price over performance: Why green energy is different from previous technology revolutions

    The green energy revolution won't provide the massive performance advantages seen in previous technology revolutions. Instead, it must be driven by price.

    Robin Gaster • Sept. 8, 2023
  • 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
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    The elusive ‘value of resilience’: Why every utility is asking for it and why it’s so hard to pin down

    A cost-benefit analysis is crucial to most utility investment filings.Without the “value of resilience” metric, such analysis falls woefully short of giving regulators the insights to make a determination.

    Mishal Thadani • Sept. 7, 2023
  • Exterior of Department of Energy building in Washington, DC.
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    Mingzhe Zhang via Getty Images
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    DOE’s error-ridden analysis on coal CCS project threatens climate and engagement goals

    Evaluating whether technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture provide more benefit than harm is a critical activity for the U.S. on our decarbonization journey.

    Emily Grubert • Sept. 5, 2023
  • 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
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    How EPA truck emissions standards can help move EV charging forward

    The agency’s draft Phase 3 rule for heavy-duty vehicle emissions sets ambitious and tangible targets, helping utility regulators get more comfortable with the compelling need for electric vehicle infrastructure.

    David Farnsworth • Sept. 1, 2023
  • Electricity from solar panels, dams, and wind turbines. Environmentally-friendly renewable energy concept.
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    bombermoon via Getty Images
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    Clean energy investment is surging, but success is far from guaranteed

    The newfound ambition to build a clean energy economy by mid-century has exposed foundational flaws in approving and connecting energy projects that, if not addressed soon, will make this goal impossible.

    Jason Grumet • Aug. 31, 2023
  • Large electric power transmission lines and modern wind turbines generating electricity in central California.
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    phleum via Getty Images
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    Amid record heat, CAISO’s day-ahead market is proving the value of a regional grid

    Establishing the Extended Day-Ahead Market is a significant milestone, but we need to get to a true regional grid, a Western Regional Transmission Organization, to achieve maximum benefits. 

    Mona Tierney-Lloyd and Jack Wadleigh • Aug. 30, 2023
  • Solar panels and wind turbines in a field
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    imacoconut via Getty Images
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    Every load an island: Requiring hourly matching of clean electricity purchases would raise emissions

    Mandating it widely would stifle the development of the clean hydrogen industry, smother the voluntary market for clean electricity purchases and needlessly increase costs in compliance markets.

    Arne Olson, Nick Schlag, Greg Gangelhoff, and Anthony Fratto • Aug. 29, 2023
  • Steel pillar with high voltage electric power lines delivering electrical energy through cable wires on long distance.
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    Bilanol via Getty Images
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    4 fixes utilities can make to boost energy equity

    If only throwing money at the problem of energy affordability and equity could solve it, we’d be in much better shape today than we are. Money is important, and required, but insufficient on its own.

    Ben Nathan • Aug. 28, 2023
  • Electrician worker and electricity power lines over sunset sky.
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    imagedepotpro via Getty Images
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    The Airbnb of power: Why the electricity sector is ripe for platformization

    With the rise of rooftop solar, electric vehicles and home storage, more and more consumers now own their own generation assets — a resource potential that platform business models can tap into.

    By Tobias Menzel, Timm Teubner, Eric Gervet and Hanjo Arms • Aug. 22, 2023
  • Power lines cut through woods winter snow.
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    mountinez via Getty Images
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    Buried treasure: Building the business case for undergrounding

    Given the costs associated with storm-related outages, the question isn’t can we afford to underground more power lines but rather, can we afford not to?

    Chris Watts • Aug. 21, 2023
  • 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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    Virtual power plants: Resource adequacy without interconnection delays

    VPPs can be implemented today, but much more needs to happen to accelerate this transition at scale.

    Ryan Hledik, Kala Viswanathan and Kate Peters • Aug. 17, 2023
  • Windmills in the Coachella Valley of southern California
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    California’s facing climate and electric rates crises. Here’s how to solve them.

    To be successful, in addition to better communications, the transition to clean energy in California will need solutions that are less familiar to customers and policymakers.

    Matt Baker • Aug. 15, 2023
  • Gas pipeline with multiple valves.
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    insagostudio via Getty Images
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    With a unique alignment of interests, now is the time to address methane emissions

    Given the public focus on sustainability as well as corporate commitments, it is in electric utilities’ best interest to ensure that their primary fuel source is as low emission and cost effective as possible.

    Jeffrey Kupfer • Aug. 14, 2023
  • The coal-fired Amos power plant in West Virginia, with smokestacks and cooling towers.
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    Joesboy via Getty Images
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    Affordable energy in West Virginia starts with economic dispatch

    West Virginia’s utilities have been operating their coal plants while incurring large losses and could have saved their ratepayers money by taking advantage of cheaper available power sources in the PJM market.  

    Ashtin Massie, Maria Castillo, Joe Daniel • Aug. 9, 2023
  • Solar Panel Community in Austin Texas
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    RoschetzkyIstockPhoto via Getty Images
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    California must act quickly or risk losing billions in federal community solar incentives

    The clock is ticking because a federal program to support community solar requires that states receiving a portion of the $7 billion start providing subsidies within 18 months of it being awarded.

    Aaron Halimi • Aug. 8, 2023