The grid’s federally appointed monitor said today that parts of the industry need more time to comply with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, but its latest analysis was unable to quantify how much delay is required. The North American Electric Reliability Corp., the federally designated grid reliability overseer, in an assessment of EPA’s landmark proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants said the agency needs to make changes to its final rule to coordinate and adjust to an accelerated shift to natural gas and renewables and account for long lead times needed to build new generation, pipes and wires.
“The cost of energy in our region is a major issue that our states need to address in a collaborative way,” Malloy said. “At this meeting, the governors will renew and strengthen our commitment to working together to put solutions to this challenge in place.” The agenda includes the lack of pipeline capacity to bring natural gas to power plants, growing concerns about reliability, and the challenge of integrating power from renewable energy sources into the grid, Malloy said.
“While we share our differences with this administration regarding energy policy, when it comes to the transmission, storage, and distribution of our resources, we can all agree that targeted changes to our laws and policies are necessary. We need a modern and resilient energy infrastructure that will meet tomorrow’s energy challenges,” Upton and Whitfield said.
White House officials touted the Quadrennial Energy Review, which focuses on the energy industry’s infrastructure needs, as a two-pronged tool. First, it assesses the effect of recent developments such as the advent of hydraulic fracturing, which sparked the domestic boom in oil and natural gas production, and the decreasing costs of renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind, whose deployment has more than tripled since President Obama came into office.
The Obama administration on Tuesday laid out an agenda under its Quadrennial Energy Review to modernize the country’s energy infrastructure and make it more resilient to challenges ranging from extreme weather to the domestic energy boom. Commissioned by President Barack Obama when he announced his Climate Action Plan in June 2013, the QER was more than a year in the making and is the administration’s first comprehensive attempt to analyze the country’s aging energy systems.
Vice President Joe Biden in a visit to Philadelphia on Tuesday called the nation’s infrastructure “incredibly outdated” and said it must be fixed to serve the nation’s 21st century energy needs. “Much of it was built decades ago, and can’t handle today’s demands,” Biden said Tuesday at Peco Energy Co., which is using a $200 million federal stimulus grant to help develop technology like smart meters to allow customers to monitor and reduce their usage.
Nebraska’s largest utility is swapping out coal for hydrogen at a power plant south of Lincoln. Nebraska Public Power District says the experimental new fuel source will cut its overall carbon footprint by about 10 percent. NPPD CEO Pat Pope insisted U.S. EPA’s impending greenhouse gas regulation “was not the driver” of the shift. “There were a lot of other reasons why this project made sense,” he said, ticking off at least 100 expected new jobs and the ability to expand the life of the Sheldon Station unit in Hallam, Neb.
How could constitutional scholar and Harvard Law School professor Laurence Tribe’s involvement in last week’s U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit hearing on the Clean Power Plan affect the future of the rule? During today’s OnPoint, Richard Lazarus and Jody Freeman, professors at Harvard Law, explain why they believe the government came out ahead during last week’s federal court hearing. They also rebut Tribe’s arguments against the constitutionality of the Power Plan.
Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the United States rose again last year as the nation’s economy grew and are expected to do so again this year and next, the Department of Energy’s statistical arm said today. But the analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows economic growth is being decoupled from emissions, as industrial output outpaces tons of CO2 emitted by fossil fuel combustion.
Consultants and analysts who believe the electric industry is well-equipped to comply with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan want the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to take on a larger role in ensuring states tackle problems in a timely manner. Sue Tierney, a senior adviser for the Analysis Group, a Boston, Mass.-based consulting firm; Brian Parsons, director of the Western Grid Group; and Eric Svenson, a senior adviser with MJ Bradley & Associates, askedFERC Chairman Norman Bay to release an order requiring grid operators and reliability authorities to provide the commission with assessments — using common assumptions and formulas — of their states’ draft plans for complying with the EPA rule.