From videos to the latest analysis, you can check out what we’re interested in right now. Also view previous GPI staff picks from this series, which launched in 2017.
This article highlights discussions in Midwestern states on how to address the impact that standby rates have on combined heat and power. Also featured is the recent action taken in Minnesota that resulted in approved new standby rates for Xcel Energy “that stakeholders say more accurately reflect the cost of backing up the systems, the result of four years of meetings and study.” The Minnesota action marks important progress for combined heat and power in the Midwest, something that GPI is working on in the state and across the region (see our previous blog on how standby rates can accelerate combined heat and power and the benefits that can be achieved) with partners such as 5Lakes Energy.
- Anna Dirkswager, Program Manager
Energy Innovation’s Sonia Aggarwal provides an excellent synthesis of the driving forces behind changes in utility regulation and the current shift toward more performance-based regulatory frameworks in the US. The article details how leading states are approaching this shift, including Hawaii (where the governor just signed a law mandating performance-based regulation), Rhode Island (where stakeholders are involved with the state-led Power Sector Transformation effort, which GPI experts have been engaged in), and Minnesota (where stakeholders have taken an active role via the e21 Initiative, which is co-convened by GPI and Center for Energy and Environment). Looking ahead, Aggarwal notes that this shift is likely to continue as states work to address growing consumer expectations and changes in the electricity system.
- Rolf Nordstrom, President and CEO
Earlier this month, Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Robert F. Powelson gave the keynote presentation to an expert workshop attended by state officials and stakeholders exploring recent energy and environmental policy developments in the PJM region. Commissioner Powelson’s very timely remarks focused on issues confronting FERC and the energy markets, specifically PJM. It was clear from his comments that Commissioner Powelson believes strongly in markets, and also in the ability of the states to play a role in their energy future. He also recognizes the changing nature of energy production and distribution. The workshop was organized by GPI with Duke University’s Nicholas Institute. You can view Commissioner Powelson’s keynote and additional discussions from the event online.
- Doug Scott, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
This white paper, supported by the Summit Foundation and published by the Innovation Network for Communities, offers an interesting framework for the capacities that cities and local governments need to effectively become increasingly resilient in the face of the changing climate. Local governments’ often view reducing greenhouse gas emissions as going hand-in-hand with climate resilience. The technical assistance that GPI provides to communities is designed to expand these capacities and address both emissions and resilience. The capacities identified by the authors, Pete Plastrik, Jill Simmons, and John Cleveland, are: scientific foundation, communications, equitable adaptation, inclusive community engagement, intergovernmental alignment, technical design, and financial resources. The paper is available for download on the Innovation Network for Communities’ website.
- Lola Schoenrich, Vice President
Vox’s David Roberts breaks down key numbers and features of Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s annual graphic of estimated energy consumption in the US. Calling the graphic “a bit of a mind-blower,” Roberts notes that the most striking feature is the “enormous amount of ‘rejected’” (i.e., wasted) energy, which he writes is a consequence of the “increasing role of inefficient energy systems.” As Roberts points out, this graphic shows the incredible potential for system-level improvements to yield big impacts, including increased efficiency and reduced carbon emissions. The article also discusses recent changes illustrated by the Lab and other national data available by sector, including the emergence of transportation as a larger source of CO2 emissions in the US than electricity.
- Jennifer Christensen, Managing Editor & Senior Writer