The Energy Industry Update – Volume 18, Issue 1
We are well over a year into a new Presidential administration, changes in policy and priorities—as well as changes in personnel in agencies like the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission—continue to affect the energy industry. But changes in our business context are not limited to policies. Technology development continues, increasing interest in energy resources like solar and energy storage. How are states and the private enterprise responding?
Themed “Recalibration,” this Update examines some of the emerging and continuing trends in the industry, with the hope that it will help energy executives “recalibrate” as our industry anticipates, and creates, the next “new normal.”
What are the emerging themes and trends defining the energy industry?
What are the issues in competitive electric markets, and what can be done? How will federal energy regulators and policy-makers approach increasing concerns about resilience as our generation mix changes? What is the outlook for renewable natural gas?
What is Massachusetts doing to enhance its grid and accommodate new, cleaner power resources? What are the key drivers in the expected growth of energy storage? What is robotic process automation, and what are its potential applications for utilities?
Why are utilities and regulators considering alternative ratemaking mechanisms? With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposing repeal of the controversial Clean Power Plan (CPP), what if anything comes next?
How are Europeans, particularly in Belgium and The Netherlands, approaching changes to the grid, increasing renewable resources, and pursuing “smart city” aspirations? In the United States, how are corporations structuring their purchases of renewable energy as these deals continue to proliferate?
Take a step back and consider what is happening, what it means, and where our industry is headed. Hear our industry experts share their views and field questions related to corporate renewable power purchase agreements, CPP repeal and replacement, and energy storage in this webcast recording.
View from the Executive Suite
Over a year into a new presidential administration, policies affecting energy and utility firms are changing. States are responding, seeking alternative regulatory approaches that accommodate new technologies while enhancing the grid and enabling future innovation. Private enterprise is responding too, with new tools and business approaches such as corporate renewable power purchase agreements. Read more
After a sometimes contentious debate, in December 2017, the Republican-controlled Congress passed tax reform in the form of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Utilities and regulators are trying to navigate its implications. Read more
Energy Supply, Demand, and Markets
Wholesale markets have tried to refine their pricing mechanisms, the power generation resource mix is changing, and the impact of state policies on wholesale markets is being hotly debated. Now a federal inquiry into resilience will add a new dimension to a complex economic and political issue. Read more
Biogas has been around for a while, but it is beginning to garner interest as a clean energy resource in both the United States and Canada. Read more
Infrastructure and Technology
Massachusetts, long a leader in progressive energy policy, seeks to modernize its grid and accommodate distributed energy resources. Read more
Battery energy storage is gaining traction, as stakeholders pursue both policies and business models to further deployment of energy storage. Read more
As futurists talk of robots and artificial intelligence, robotic process automation is a technology that is here now as utilities begin to deploy it. Read more
Rate and Regulatory Issues
As electric utilities have seen declining rates of consumption growth, interest in distributed energy resources and efficiency, and a growing need for grid investment, they seek to balance customer needs and preferences, investor expectations, and the public interest, without jeopardizing affordability. What alternative rate mechanisms are being examined? Read more
As the EPA has proposed repeal of the highly contentious and litigated CPP, it has also floated a potential successor regulation. Will it matter? Read more
Clean Tech and Environment
A fact-finding mission to Belgium and The Netherlands reveals progress on decarbonization and clean energy but finds that Europeans have not found the silver bullet and are facing similar challenges to those in North America. Read more
Large corporations are buying increasing amounts of renewable energy and have used some creative structures to contract for their clean power. Read more