Energy Policy Update

A blog about energy resources, energy policy, and their effects on society and the environment. From fossil fuels to renewable energy, electricity to natural gas and oil, traditional technologies to innovations, this blog presents an unbiased look at the past, present, and future of energy.

This blog site is published by and reflects the personal views of Todd Griset, in his individual capacity. It does not necessarily represent the views of his law firm or clients, and is not sponsored or endorsed by them. The purpose of this blog site is to assist in dissemination of information about energy policy and related issues, but no representation is made about the accuracy of the information. The information contained in this blog site is provided only as general information for education purposes, and blog topics may or may not be updated subsequent to their initial posting.

By using this blog site you understand that this information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to constitute legal advice. This blog site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. This blog site is not intended to be advertising and Todd Griset does not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing this blog site in a state where this blog site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Solar and batteries account for most planned new 2023 US electric generation capacity Through 2023, developers and operators of power plants expect to add 85 gigawatts of new generating capacity to the U.S. electric grid, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration -- and most of that new capacity will come from solar power and battery storage projects.EIA's most recent preliminary analysis shows plans to add 51 gigawatts of new solar power and battery storage capacity in 2022 and 2023. This accounts for 60 percent of the total new capacity planned for this... More
  • FERC issues policy statements on Natural Gas Act implementation U.S. regulators of interstate natural gas pipelines have issued a pair of policy statements, describing how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will consider natural gas projects. The Commissions says its updated Certificate Policy Statement and Interim Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Policy Statement "are intended to improve the legal durability of the Commission’s natural gas certificate and LNG decisions following a series of court decisions raising concerns about the Commission’s prior approach." In the updated Certificate Policy Statement (PL18-1), the Commission reaffirmed reaffirms many... More
  • U.S. electricity reliability in 2020 The average U.S. electricity customer experienced over eight hours of power outages in 2020, according to data recently released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, reaching the highest level since the agency started tracking electricity reliability data in 2013.EIA collects data from electric utilities including the frequency and duration of outages and the number of customers affected. Excluding "major events" like snowstorms, wildfires, and hurricanes, from 2013 to 2020 customers consistently experienced about two hours per year of interruptions. Including... More
  • Efficiency Maine Trust publishes EV guidebook As electric vehicles (EV) gain traction among consumers and policymakers, Maine's quasi-governmental energy efficiency agency Efficiency Maine Trust has released a guidebook designed to help consumers make informed decisions. Efficiency Maine Trust is the independent administrator for programs to improve the efficiency of energy use and reduce greenhouse gases in Maine. A state law enacted in 2019 expanded the Trust's mandate to include "beneficial electrification", defined as "electrification of a technology that results in reduction in the use of... More
  • EIA cites record-high carbon prices in RGGI allowance market As the U.S. federal government and most states seek to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in an effort to address climate change, the price of carbon emission allowances is rising in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative program, the nation's oldest multistate mandatory carbon allowance market for electric generators. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, was the first mandatory market-based program adopted in the United States requiring reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the electric... More
  • FERC issues PacWave South wave energy license US federal hydropower regulators have issued a license to Oregon State University to construct, operate, and maintain a 20-megawatt hydrokinetic wave energy test facility on the Outer Continental Shelf about 6 nautical miles offshore Newport, Oregon, in Oregon territorial waters, and onshore. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's March 1, 2021 Order Issuing License in docket P-14606-001 represents a significant step forward for the testing and deployment of wave energy conversion devices in US waters.Oregon State University applied to the Commission... More
  • FERC sets conferences on climate change, extreme weather, reliability, and electrification US electricity regulators have scheduled a series of technical conferences to address specific issues, including a two-day event to explore issues related to "threats to electric system reliability posed by climate change and extreme weather events", and a separate event on "electrification" of sectors like transportation and heating and its implications for the grid. On March 5, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a notice of technical conference in its "Climate Change, Extreme Weather, and Electric System Reliability" docket (AD21-13-000).  ... More
  • US electric distribution service outages vary by state Recent widespread power outages in Texas are placing public and regulatory attention on the reliability of the electric grid. According to federal data, in 2019 U.S. electric distribution customers experienced an average of 4.7 hours of service interruptions -- but customers in some areas experienced more extensive outages, such as in Maine where the average total interruption time in 2019 exceeded 15 hours.The U.S. Energy Information Administration tracks and analyzes data regarding various aspects of the nation's energy sector, including... More
  • Selected 2021 Maine legislation on energy and climate Here is a round-up of selected energy- and climate-related legislative bills pending before the 130th Maine Legislature and printed as of January 28, 2021: LD 9 (SP16) An Act To Promote Renewable Energy by Authorizing a Power-to-fuel Pilot Program  LD 82 (HP48) Resolve, To Provide for Participation of the State in the Planning and Negotiations for the Atlantic Loop Energy Project LD 87 (HP53) An Act To Implement the State Climate Action Plan, Reduce Greenhouse Gas... More
  • Selected Maine PUC 2021 reports and communications Here's a roundup of selected recent communications from the Maine Public Utilities Commission to the state legislative committee with jurisdiction over energy matters, as of late January 2021. This resource is meant to facilitate finding these documents.The Maine Public Utilities Commission submitted a report to the Maine State Legislature's Committee, titled, "Report on the Community-Based Renewable Energy Pilot Program", dated January 15, 2021. The report provides information on the status of a "community-based renewable energy pilot program" created by a... More
  • FERC inquires re hydro financial assurance Federal hydropower regulators in the U.S. are considering changes to the way financial assurance measures are incorporated into hydroelectric project approvals, and have requested public comment on whether and how hydro projects should be made to provide financial assurance to cover the costs of compliance with their license terms. Under the Federal Power Act, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has jurisdiction over many hydroelectric developments in the U.S. On January 19, 2021, the Commission issued a Notice of Inquiry seeking public... More
  • Renewables will power most U.S. generation additions in 2021, says EIA Renewable resources will power over two-thirds of the new electric generating capacity that will be added to the U.S. grid in 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. EIA tracks planned and operating utility-scale electric power generation in the U.S. The agency reports that developers and power plant owners plan for about 39.7 gigawatts of new utility-scale generation to start commercial operation in 2021.Solar is planned to account for 15.4 gigawatts of generating capacity additions. Solar represents the largest share... More
  • FERC 2020 staff report on advanced metering and demand response Advanced meters for electric service are now the most prevalent type of metering deployed throughout the United States, according to a recent federal report, and 2018 was the first year when estimated nationwide advanced meter penetration rates were greater than or equal to 50% of each of the residential, commercial, and industrial customer classes.Since the enactment of the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, each year the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's staff has published a report as required by Section... More
  • Department of Energy Prohibition Order for Bulk-Power System Security The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a Prohibition Order prohibiting the acquisition, importation, transfer, or installation of certain bulk-power system electric equipment that directly serves Critical Defense Facilities. The order follows an Executive Order signed by President Trump earlier this year, authorizing the Department to take steps to secure the nation's bulk-power system.On May 1, 2020, President Trump signed Executive Order 13920, "Securing the United States Bulk-Power System". As described in a press release, that Executive Order "prohibits Federal agencies and... More
  • US energy-related CO2 emissions declined in 2019, nearly all due to the electric sector U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions declined by 3% in 2019 relative to the prior year, almost entirely due to the changing mix of fuels used to generate electricity. Transportation now exceeds electric power as the energy-related sector contributing the most CO2 emissions, according to recently released federal data.    The U.S. Energy Information Administration tracks estimated domestic energy-related CO2 emissions, by multiplying energy consumption, measured in British thermal units, by a "carbon factor" representing the average carbon intensity... More