“The Great Debate” for regulatory utility commissioners

Want to influence the adoption of renewable energy in Montana?  Do you care what principals guide our Public Service Commissioners?  For a start, take a look at the agenda of the The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ (NARUC) annual winter policy summit in Washington D.C. last week.

A highlight of the meeting was a debate February 14, between Ralph Cavanagh, Codirector of the Energy Program, National Resource Defense Council, and Phil Moeller, Executive VP of NARUC, and a former FERC Commissioner, representing the Edison Electric Institute (EEI).

Moderated by Montana’s Public Service Commissioner Travis Kavulla, the question was: Should NARUC’s membership embrace an “All of the Above” energy strategy as a guiding principal for oversight of utilities’ planning and investment? The Daily Energy Insider covered the debate on Feb. 16, calling it “collegial.”

Following the debate, NRDC and EEI released a joint statement supporting new utility policies which, according to Ralph Cavanagh’s blog , “accelerate America’s transition to a clean energy future,” which includes the following:  reductions in greenhouse gases, ensuring affordability of energy services, and improving system reliability.

The question that utility regulators are discussing nationwide is how to accelerate our transition to a clean energy future. Let’s keep that in the public’s view.  The PSC works for us, remember.

 

 

 

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Posted in Articles, blog, Lobbying and Politics, Montana, Public opinion, Sustainable energy technologies | Tagged | Leave a comment

“Saving Snow”

pexels-photo-869258.jpeg

“Saving Snow” documentary on the economic effects of our warming winters, shows March 5, 2018, 7pm, free, at the ArtHouse Cinema & Pub, Billings.  Panel following.

Sponsored by the Sierra Club and Citizens’ Climate Lobby of Billings.

We’ll be there with snacks to share.  We want to hear from you!

Posted in Billings, CCL Meetings & Events, Documentary, Events, Montana | Tagged | Leave a comment

Energy Mapping

Wow!  The U.S. Energy Administration publishes State Profiles and Energy Estimates at U.S. Energy Information Administration.

These profiles include energy indicators, prices, reserves, supply and distribution, consumption and expenditures, and “environment” data.

What’s in the environment data?  Renewable energy capacity, utility -scale hydroelectric net electricity generation, and utility-scale solar, wind, geothermal, biomass net electricity generation, and distributed solar photovoltaic generation.

Want to know about renewable energy consumption, total carbon dioxide emissions,  and electric power industry emissions, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

All this and maps too!  Thanks to a CCL Coal Country Group for posting this on CCL Community.

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Never mind FERC, we are building the grid of the future

“As feds focus on baseload, grid modernization is sweeping the country” according to Herman Trabish’s feature story in today’s Utility Dive.

“Fifty States of Grid Modernization,” a 2017 policy update from the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center reports on a trend of actions that are state-initiated.      Autumn Proudlove is lead author of the report.  The most common grid modernization action is advanced metering infrastructure (AMI).  Others include legislation or regulation that addresses smart grid, utility business model or rate reforms, or expand access to distributed energy resources.

Grid modernization map

So, never mind that FERC is proposing to provide “cost recovery to merchant coal and nuclear plants that keep 90 days of fuel supply onsite.”  There is demonstrated movement towards grid modernization with energy storage nationwide.

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Dr. Keeling’s Curve

George Shea published a video of his play (1 hour, 17 mins), Dr. Keeling’s Curve,  on YouTube in February 2017.   Based at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Dr. Keeling measured carbon dioxide levels around the earth, starting in 1958.  In plotting the graph of his findings over more than twenty years, he demonstrated it’s inexorable rise, the curve of which matched the rise in earth’s average temperature during the same time. It’s a powerful story, which isn’t hurt by the fact that Mike Farrell (M.A.S.H. fame) plays Dr. Keeling in this one-man play.  How is it that we don’t all know about this?

Keeling’s curve, and the history of carbon dioxide in the earth’s climate are expanded in videos from the  American Museum of Natural History.

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Social cost of carbon used by States in energy decisions

According to Peter Fairley, August 14, 2017, in Inside Climate News, 

                 “The climate metric, maligned by the Trump administration, helps build the cost of future climate harms into state electricity plans and markets.”

 

SocialCostofCarbonUS-650

 

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Reliability of the grid

The National Academies Press  just published “Enhancing the resilience of the nation’s electricity system.”

Electric power transmission and distribution reliability are critical to our “safety, productivity, comfort, and convenience.”  The electric power system has vulnerabilities that we would do well to learn more about.

You can download the slides to the webinar at this site.

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