Opinion

The latest opinion pieces by industry thought leaders


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  • (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
  • Power lines on a snowy day.
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    Sergey Sidorov via Getty Images
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    FERC and NERC review of winter storm gas failures lacks transparency, key details

    Faltering energy system performance — which almost caused rolling blackouts — and insufficient scrutiny and transparency after the fact must not be the new normal with winter storms.

    Paul Arbaje • May 3, 2024
  • Transmission towers in fog at dawn.
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    Andrei Ksenzhuk via Getty Images
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    Long-term transmission planning will power America’s future

    It is in the national interest to approach the power grid the same way we have approached the internet, the interstate highway system and telecommunications.

    John Szoka and Ted Thomas • May 2, 2024
  • ISO New England control room
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    Permission granted by ISO New England
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    New early warning system will mitigate energy shortfall risks in New England

    ISO New England’s new Probabilistic Energy Adequacy Tool, created jointly with EPRI, is part of the grid operator’s comprehensive and proactive approach to planning for a reliable future power system.

    Stephen George and Jinye Zhao • May 1, 2024
  • Solar panels in front of the U.S. Capitol dome.
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    Douglas Rissing via Getty Images
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    Solar tariffs are in the spotlight again. Our current approach isn’t the answer.

    Provisions in the IRA combined with aggressive tariff policy will cause the price of solar to skyrocket when we need to deploy it at a massive scale to solve the climate crisis.

    Dan Whitten • April 30, 2024
  • A "smart" thermostat on a wall.
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    Silas Bubolu via Getty Images
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    Is your utility’s online marketplace operating at full power? It might be time for a reboot.

    Such marketplaces have raised awareness of energy efficiency and sustainability. But as technologies like LED bulbs and smart thermostats have become commonplace, sales have slowed and traffic has dropped.

    Mark Wilkinson • April 29, 2024
  • Wind farm and electricity pylons in the desert of Coachella Valley, California.
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    Phil Augustavo via Getty Images
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    A single, unified Western power market will deliver affordability, reliability and climate benefits

    The expansion of the Western Energy Imbalance Market with a day-ahead market and a new independent governing authority can open major opportunities for customer benefits and increased grid reliability.

    Lauren McCloy, Ben Otto, Diego Rivas and Fred Heutte • April 24, 2024
  • High Voltage Electric Power Lines At Sunset
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    imaginima via Getty Images
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    The case for electricity transmission competition has never been clearer with today’s inflation

    Both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have found that competitive bidding will improve grid sustainability and resiliency while lowering rates and increasing innovation.

    Paul Cicio • April 23, 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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    FERC’s final regional transmission rule is coming soon. It has one shot to get it right.

    A strong rule will help spur the transmission lines necessary to meet America’s growing energy needs, while also setting the table for a future interregional rule to mitigate the effects of extreme weather.

    Ray Long • April 18, 2024
  • Solar panels and wind turbines generating renewable energy for green and sustainable future.
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    pidjoe via Getty Images
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    The time is ripe for utilities to play a larger role in the energy transition

    Utilities should provide upfront support to low- to moderate-income customers for residential electrification and decarbonization measures to prevent them from being stuck on the existing fossil fuel systems.

    Dan Bakal • April 16, 2024
  • Electrical power grid and power line towers at sunset.
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    YinYang via Getty Images
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    Power grids are facing more demand than ever. Policy needs to catch up.

    There is a gap between operational realities and aspirational policies. That gap is growing, and not shrinking as it must.

    Todd Snitchler • April 15, 2024
  • Close-up of a tokamak fusion power reactor, generating fusion power
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    Aranga87 via Getty Images
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    The Future of AI will require an energy breakthrough. The answer is a fusion moonshot.

    Skeptics contend that fusion has long promised much but failed to deliver. Historically, that has been true. But there is reason to believe this moment is different.

    Ylli Bajraktari • April 12, 2024
  • An artistic rendering of a building which is transitioning from fossil fuel use to renewable sources like solar panels
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    Oliver de la Haye via Getty Images
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    Regulators: Don’t panic and rush to gas amid cries we’re out of power

    Proposing new gas plants to serve growing demand does not occur in isolation. It is a decision that implicitly rejects alternatives as either infeasible, expensive or unconsidered.

    Mike O’Boyle and Eric Gimon • April 11, 2024
  • The right rear corner of a white car is parked on a street plugged in to an electric vehicle charging post.
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    Permission granted by itselectric
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    How electric vehicles are lowering electricity bills for everyone

    Electric vehicle drivers are saving everyone billions of dollars on their monthly electricity bills, a recent study by Synapse Energy Economics found.

    Jordan Brinn • April 10, 2024
  • Electricity transmission towers with glowing wires.
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    jitendrajadhav via Getty Images
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    Can Retail Choice 2.0 succeed where Retail Choice 1.0 (maybe) failed?

    Retail Choice 2.0 is capable of unlocking more value than ever, through smart meters, telecommunications infrastructure, AI, electrified homes and even social media, enabling both real-time feedback and customer education.

    Allison Bates Wannop • April 9, 2024
  • A field of solar panels in the California desert.
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    schwartstock via Getty Images
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    Maximizing the value of IRA tax incentives while minimizing investment compliance risk

    The IRA is the single largest investment in clean energy in U.S. history, but industry will only benefit from the estimated $1.2 trillion in incentives if the tax credits can be successfully monetized.

    Charles Dauber • April 8, 2024