Blog

http://energypolicyupdate.blogspot.com/

Energy Policy Update Blog

Energy powers society; society's choices shape energy policy. This blog is about our energy resources and the choices they present for society.

Recent Blog Posts

  • Federal funds expected for tribal clean energy projects The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs has announced its intent to make $50 million available this spring for clean energy technology deployment on tribal lands. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the Department of Energy to establish the Office of Indian Energy, which is directed and authorized to provide, direct, foster, coordinate, and implement energy planning, education, management, development, and efficiency. Its mission is to maximize the development and deployment of energy solutions for the... More
  • 131st Maine Legislature EUT Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee  As 2023 advances, the 131st Maine Legislature has convened in Augusta to pursue its lawmaking agenda. Under the Legislature's rules, the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology (EUT) plays important roles.The EUT Committee is one of the 17 joint standing committees of the Maine Legislature, charged with responsibilities pursuant to the Legislature's Joint Rules including considering and reporting to both chambers on legislation; reviewing and making recommendations on budgeting and fiscal policy issues concerning state government; conducting... More
  • December 24, 2022 capacity deficiency event in New England New England's wholesale electricity grid experienced a capacity deficiency on December 24, 2022, according to grid operator ISO New England, Inc., but the system operator says its operating procedures successfully balanced supply and demand on the regional power system during evening peak hours, when unexpected generator outages and reductions and lower-than-expected imports led to a shortfall in operating reserves.According to ISO-NE:ISO New England did not call for controlled power outages on Christmas Eve, but did declare a capacity deficiency, meaning... More
  • BOEM proposes Renewable Energy Modernization Rule for offshore wind The U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced a proposed rulemaking to amend its regulations governing offshore wind and other clean energy development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). BOEM describes its proposed rule as "a major modernization of the regulations", reflecting lessons learned from the past 13 years. If finally adopted, BOEM projects that its Renewable Energy Modernization Rule would save the renewable energy industry $1 billion over 20 years, by reshaping the way... More
  • 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