BCSE 2016 Summer Newsletter
Quarterly Connection, Vol. 21
- President's View: Planning and Investing for a Green Grid
- Walk the Line with BCSE in Nashville
- Energy Bill, Tax Outreach on Hill Agenda
- State Engagement on the Clean Power Plan
- Green Climate Fund Maintained in Senate Appropriations Legislation
- Clean Energy Industries in Marrakech: The COP of Action
- EPA Continues Work on Clean Power Plan, Despite Stay
- Highlights on CEM7
President's View: Planning and Investing for a Green Grid
The electricity infrastructure in the United States is at an important crossroads. New investment and a fresh approach to long-term planning in the power system will be needed to ensure that reliable, affordable and clean energy can be delivered to American ratepayers. The Department of Energy (DOE)’s Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) 1.2 focuses on these vital issues. The QER 1.2 assesses the evolution of the nation’s generation portfolio, the implications of a hybrid generation system, the integration of renewables, and the benefits of energy efficiency, demand response, and natural gas for grid resiliency.
BCSE member companies and coalitions in the energy efficiency, natural gas, and renewable energy sectors are at the front lines of change in the U.S. electricity system. In BCSE comments submitted to DOE in early July, the Council called for a holistic approach to the country’s energy planning and affirmed that the utilization of the full portfolio of clean energy technologies will be essential to a healthy and well-functioning grid. Further, the Council highlighted the distinctly different yet equally valuable roles that the government, private sector, and other stakeholders play in planning, managing, and financing energy infrastructure. BCSE recommendations included a call to:
- Update market rules to efficiently meet the needs of the changing power system
- Provide appropriate value and pricing mechanisms that recognize flexible resources and ancillary services
- Provide technical assistance and share best practices among government, private sector, and stakeholder representatives
- Fund research, development and deployment programs that reduce costs and speed innovation in the design and operation of the electricity system
Walk the Line with BCSE in Nashville
The July 24th Clean Energy Industry Reception at the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville will include southern food and southern hospitality. The entire museum – featuring the Man in Black – will be open to guests. The reception is co-sponsored by BCSE, AEE, AEMA, ASE, AWEA, Ceres, CCSA, ESA, GridWise Alliance, and SEIA and is being held at the summer committee meetings of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC).
In addition to the Nashville reception, BCSE will sponsor a breakfast with commissioners to discuss economic development and clean energy innovation in the Southeast region. John Myers, Director for Environment and Energy Policy and Regulatory Affairs, at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), will share updates about how TVA is getter cleaner and greener while meeting its congressionally mandated mission to provide affordable electricity, environmental stewardship, and economic development across its seven-state region in the Southeast. Beth Prichard Greer, co-Chair, Livable Nashville Committee, will discuss sustainability and smart cities efforts at the local level.
To attend BCSE’s breakfast roundtable in Nashville please register here.
BCSE is also organizing a NARUC panel to educate commissioners about energy efficiency financing. The panel, moderated by Jim Gardner, former member of the Kentucky Public Utilities Commission and outgoing chair of NARUC’s Energy Resources and Environment (ERE) Committee, will feature speakers from National Grid, Hannon Armstrong, and Renew Financial.
For more information, or to get involved in BCSE’s NARUC work, please contact Ruth McCormick (email@example.com).
Energy Bill, Tax Outreach on Hill Agenda
Just days before adjourning for the long summer recess, the Senate voted 84-3 to proceed with the Senate energy bill, S.2012, also known as the Energy Policy Modernization Act, and to appoint conferees to a House-Senate conference. BCSE has been encouraging Senators to appoint conferees and to use the bipartisan provisions that have been negotiated over months and years as a starting point. For more information on the Council’s position, please refer to the letter BCSE sent to House and Senate leaders in June urging them to move forward with a conference.
BCSE has endorsed provisions such as the hydroelectric licensing improvements, energy efficiency provisions, and smart buildings provisions.
Senate Energy Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski mentioned BCSE in her floor statement before the recent vote on July 12. BCSE, and graphics from the 2016 edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook, have been highlighted on earlier occasions as the legislation has been debated on the Senate floor.
In addition to action on energy legislation, BCSE is also consulting with our members to discuss an outreach strategy on clean energy tax extenders. Tax credits for a number of clean energy technologies will expire at the end of 2016 unless action is taken.
State Engagement on the Clean Power Plan
BCSE continues to engage in Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia on Clean Power Plan implementation. These states are moving forward on compliance planning, whether through legislative or executive action. Here is a round-up of what is happening in these states:
In Virginia, Governor McAuliffe recently issued Executive Order 57, which establishes a working group tasked with identifying ways the state can reduce carbon. While the Virginia General Assembly has prohibited the Department of Environmental Quality from spending on Clean Power Plan work until the stay is lifted, and Governor McAuliffe has indicated that this working group process will not result in a state plan, EO 57 ensures that Virginia will continue to explore ways to move towards a cleaner economy.
The Nevada New Energy Industry Task Force continues to meet regularly to explore and address the development of clean energy sources and the integration of renewable technology into Nevada’s power sector. In June and July, BCSE attended two meetings of the Task Force to offer comments and suggestions on behalf of BCSE members.
In June, BCSE released a new 2016 Pennsylvania Energy Factsheet and presented it to stakeholders and policy makers in the state. The Pennsylvania Factsheet shows that rising in-state natural gas production has helped keep power prices low. The state has also built more than a gigawatt of new renewable energy capacity and has effective energy efficiency policies.
Just last week, BCSE presented an updated 2016 Minnesota Energy Factsheet to policymakers and stakeholders at a lunch and executive branch interagency briefing in St. Paul. The Minnesota Factsheet shows that the state is using more renewable energy sources than ever before, with 22% of its electricity coming from renewables in 2015. Minnesota is also a leader in energy efficiency, ranking 10th for utility and public benefits programs and policies in 2015 by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
Green Climate Fund Maintained in Senate Appropriations Legislation
The Senate has restored some of the funding requested by the Administration for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). During a recent Senate Appropriations Committee markup, an amendment- offered by Senator Merkley (D-OR) and co-sponsored by Senators Kirk (R-IL), and Collins (R-ME) to the State and Foreign Operations bill restored some of the funds requested for U.S. contributions to the GCF. U.S. support of these international funds creates new market opportunities for American clean energy companies and enables American businesses to provide U.S. technology and innovation to developing countries. A similar amendment was offered during the House Appropriations Committee markup, but failed. BCSE will continue to advocate for financial support of the Green Climate Fund as the legislation moves through the legislative process.
Clean Energy Industries in Marrakech: The COP of Action
With the Paris Agreement in hand, the talk under the Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations has turned to implementation. Morocco, the host of the upcoming 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) from November 7-18, is placing its focus on action, with plans to highlight its own investments in the world’s largest concentrated solar plant (Noor) in Ouarzazate, a wind park in Essaouira and the green city of Ben Guerir. The BCSE will lead a delegation of its members, who will share their expertise on what technology, finance and policies are needed to help countries meet their national targets and the Paris Agreement to keep the global warming to below 2°C. To get involved in the BCSE plans for COP22, contact Laura Tierney (firstname.lastname@example.org) by July 31.
EPA Continues Work on Clean Power Plan, Despite Stay
The Clean Power Plan (CPP) will have to wait until September 27 to be heard by the DC Circuit Court. However, that is not stopping EPA from continuing its work to develop guidelines for states and to elaborate rules for the Clean Energy Incentive Program.
While the stay is in effect, EPA continues to work on finalizing the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP). The CEIP will provide incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency to promote projects that will work towards CPP compliance in the states. On June 30, EPA published the CEIP Proposed Rule in the Federal Register. BCSE held meetings with both EPA and OMB in May to express member views on the CEIP, and also met with EPA in July in response to the proposal. BCSE will also submit comments to EPA during the comment period, and speak at the August 3 Stakeholder Hearing in Chicago.
Highlights on CEM7
The 7th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7), held June 1-2 in San Francisco, CA, showcased several BCSE members' expertise and leadership to advance deployment of clean energy technologies.
As part of the Advanced Cooling Challenge, Ingersoll Rand committed to spending $500 million by 2020 for research and development to deliver high efficiency and low GWP heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) and refrigeration solutions to global markets before 2030.
As part of the Global Lighting Challenge, Philips Lighting announced its aspiration to sell more than two billion energy efficient LED lights by 2020. Reaching this goal would save energy equivalent to decommissioning 60 medium-sized coal-fired power stations with emissions equivalent to 24 million cars. At the same time the company reaffirmed its pledge to make its global operations carbon neutral by 2020 and said that it expects electricity for its U.S. operations to be 100% carbon neutral later this year. The Alliance to Save Energy and the Global Alliance for Energy Productivity also announced their support of this challenge.
As part of the Energy Management Campaign, Schneider Electric pledged to certify 150 of its facilities to ISO 50001 by 2017; and promote international best practices in energy management, ISO 50001 certification, and Superior Energy Performance to its clients. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will educate its commercial and industrial customers about the ISO 150001 energy management standard as a vehicle to achieve greater energy savings and to help meet California’s commitment to double energy efficiency by 2030.
Johnson Controls participated in the Technology Showcase as a member of the US-China Clean Energy Research Center Building Energy Efficiency Consortium, a cooperative research effort that is working to improve efficiency in new and existing buildings, save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase indoor comfort, and reduce stress on the electric grid.