Paying Too Much for Demand Response? DC Circuit Court Throws Out FERC Rule

May 30, 2014 by Jesse Jenkins

FERC Rules and Court Rulings

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia threw out a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rule authorizing payments to electricity consumers who reduce their electricity usage during periods of high prices, a service known as "demand response."[read more]

Departing FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff: A Day in the Life of the Grid

May 31, 2013 by Eric Wesoff

Jon Wellinghoff

Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is resigning his post after a tenure marked by formative support for renewable energy, energy storage, demand response and smart grid technologies.[read more]

New Front In Western Wind Energy War: FERC vs. Idaho

April 3, 2013 by Eric Christensen

FERC's actions against Idaho's public utilities commission are extraordinary, marking the first time FERC has exercised its Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act enforcement authority directly against a state commission.[read more]

Natural Gas Revolution and Its Implications: LNG Exports 101

April 3, 2013 by Adam James

The Shale Gale, unleashed by technological breakthroughs in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, has also led to a discussion of the United States potential to become a net-exporter of natural gas for the first time ever.[read more]

Efforts to Promote Energy Storage Should Look to the States

March 3, 2012 by James Greenberger

Image by Tom Raftery via Flickr

Many of the barriers to deploying distributed energy storage arise, not from a lack of federal policy, but from inconsistent and antiquated state regulations that restrict how storage and other assets located on the distribution portion of the grid can be owned and used.[read more]

Overcoming Hurdles to Clean Energy Commercialization

November 21, 2011 by David Levy

Despite the mounting evidence of severe climate change, there is a funding crisis for potential solutions. The Department of Energy released data at the beginning of November showing that global emissions of CO2 rose 6% in 2010, despite the ongoing economic recession. This trajectory is higher than the worst case projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in it’s 2007 Fourth Assessement Report. The impacts are already being felt. A new IPCC report concludes that climate change is causing more extreme weather, especially heat waves, heavy precipitation, and coastal flooding (though the super-cautious IPCC hedged on hurricanes).[read more]

Community Scale Solar Power

August 19, 2011 by Jonathan Smith

John Farrell says, “‘Community scale’ solar is likely to provide the best combination of affordability, speed, and opportunity for local economic benefit.” But, what does he mean by “community scale” and does it fit with Big Eddie’s concept of centralized power (Sig Heil!). There are two good sources of solar installed cost in the U.S....[read more]

FERC: “Weather-Related Causes” Explain Power Supply Problems During 2011's Extreme Winter

August 18, 2011 by Michael Giberson

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) have issued their report on the events surrounding electric power and natural gas supply interruptions around the Southwest United States in early February, 2001. The culprit? According to the press release: “the task force...[read more]

Record-Setting Power Consumption In Texas -- ERCOT Narrowly Avoids Rolling Blackouts

August 14, 2011 by Michael Giberson
Image via Wikipedia

Much in the news in Texas these past few weeks have been new peak power records and several grid emergency conditions which saw the ERCOT power system narrowly avoid rolling blackout a time or two. Tom Fowler of the Houston Chronicle‘s Fuel Fix blog has been tracking the story closely, see selected links below. Rebecca Smith provided a...[read more]

The Energy Storage Hand Gets More Interesting

July 25, 2011 by Christine Hertzog

The cards dealt to the energy storage industry are looking better now than in the past. Here are three of them, all played because of the growing presence of Smart Grid technologies that enable solutions and policies that encourage energy storage markets. One wild card is also listed here, and it could have significant influence over the...[read more]

Power Outages, Hot and Cold

June 1, 2011 by Michael Giberson

A FuelFix post by Tom Fowler relays ERCOT’s report that the Texas grid operator expects to have enough power to serve customers reliably this summer. At the end of Fowler’s post he casually mentioned, in connection with the rolling blackout in ERCOT last winter, “a report by federal reliability officials concluded power plant operators...[read more]

Opportunities in Power Market Design: Wind Power, Capacity Markets, Optimization Software

May 10, 2011 by Michael Giberson

Michael Giberson A handful of stories raising power market design issues: The Oregonian, ”Northwest wind power to double but inconsistency creates nightmare“: “The value of BPA’s surplus power sales are already being undermined by wind energy sloshing into the market. That ultimately increases rates for its public utility customers...[read more]

Grid Operators Should Pay for Energy R&D

January 7, 2011 by James Greenberger

In thinking about a new focus for U.S. energy policy over the next few years, A Business Plan for America’s Energy Future, published last June by the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC), makes for a good read. The Business Plan proposes a number of interesting ideas with respect to national energy policy, the most compelling of which is that the federal government should spend $16 billion per year on energy R&D.[read more]

Google Denies Renewable Energy Trader Intentions

May 2, 2010 by Vicky Portwain

Google has denied rumours that it is set to become and energy trader at a GreenNet conference in San Francisco last week. With hundreds of millions of customers, Google uses mammoth computer infrastructure to keep everything going. However Google’s carbon reduction intentions have been well publicised over the last year. From biofuel...[read more]

Smart Grid Heavy Hitters – Jon Wellinghoff, Chair of US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – part 2

April 29, 2010 by Tom Raftery

Jon Wellinghoff is the Chairman of the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) – the FERC is the agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil. I recorded an interview with Jon a few weeks back. The resulting video was too good to reduce to a single piece, so I split it...[read more]