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Energy Industry Update Volume 21, Issue 2


Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

This Energy Industry Update (EIU) examines the clean energy transition and how the industry is going to meet the needs of a resilient, reliable carbon-free grid. As utilities consider how to meet today’s clean energy goals, they are wrestling with a number of questions. This EIU considers the potential role of small modular reactors in the net-zero economy and the limitations of short-duration storage to support the needs of the grid. We also describe the evolving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) frameworks many are using to demonstrate progress to stakeholders. Though progress is being made, the industry still hasn’t found what it’s looking for to reliably meet our clean energy targets and clearly report the progress it is making.

For an overview of this report, watch this video as industry experts share what’s covered and why it’s important.


Join more than 10,000 executives who rely on the EIU for the industry’s most important trends and data-driven insights. This issue will allow you to:

  • Learn how energy storage, particularly lithium-ion battery technology, continues its remarkable growth, as researchers and the industry examine alternative technologies that will provide long-duration output and hedge against emerging material and supply chain challenges
  • Discover how small modular reactors continue to receive interest from policymakers and generators as one potential option for carbon-free power with a variety of applications, technologies, and sizes that could provide fit-for-purpose flexibility
  • Explore how ESG has gathered momentum among investors, with a keen eye on the environmental aspect, and how industry, regulators, and stakeholders are seeking relevant reporting metrics

Access the associated webcast recording and presentation here.

Energy Storage

Pilot programs, utility procurement, and wholesale market rules have contributed to the growth of battery storage, but most of the facilities deployed to date are short-duration storage. Long-duration storage is receiving considerable attention due to its potential to provide resilience through natural disasters and increase the capacity of the grid to accommodate intermittent renewables.

FERC Adjusts Priorities

Under changed leadership at FERC, the commission is considering a number of policy and regulatory changes—including changes affecting transmission planning, pipeline certification, and electric market design—aimed at facilitating transition to a lower carbon-emitting national energy resource portfolio.

COVID-19 Year 2

After nearly a year and a half of managing through the challenges of COVID-19, the utility industry continues to navigate supply chain challenges, pandemic-related costs, and recovery of deferred balances, while maintaining grid and resource investment.

ESG Reporting

ESG has been evolving as a topic not only because it is becoming a key criterion for investors but also because of the need for electric and gas utilities to report on carbon emissions. There are many frameworks that are guiding ESG reporting today, but it isn’t always straightforward.

Small Modular Reactors

SMRs are essentially small nuclear plants that operate on nuclear fuel. Because of their smaller size and operational flexibility, they do not face the same issues that make large nuclear plants difficult to build and operate, and they have the potential to become an important source of non-carbon-emitting generation.

Natural Gas Developments

While 2020’s outbreak of the pandemic temporarily unsettled gas markets, gas demand has recovered. But recent price increases, relatively low gas storage volumes, the prospects of a cold winter, and the potential for fuel switching have many guessing how long elevated gas prices might last.

The Energy Industry in Charts

This is a graphical look at interesting facts and statistics in the energy industry.

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