Blueprint Released for America's Clean Power System
Refreshed America's Power Plan provides insight for electricity sector in flux
Jun 22, 2015, 03:30 ET
WILLIAMSBURG, Va., June 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- 150 of America's top energy experts today refreshed America's Power Plan, a comprehensive policy toolkit designed to help federal and state policymakers, regulators, power market operators, as well as utility executives make smart decisions to steer the United States' power sector transformation toward a clean, affordable, and reliable system.
America's Power Plan provides policy recommendations on four key topics: Ratemaking and utility business models, regional planning for transmission and distribution infrastructure, market design, and system optimization.
"Smart policies, market designs, and business models can speed America's transition to a low-carbon electricity future," said Hal Harvey, CEO of Energy Innovation. "This blueprint can help reach our clean energy potential without sacrificing grid reliability or consumer affordability."
America's Power Plan was first released in 2013, and was the first comprehensive national effort to modernize policy to take advantage of new technologies hitting the U.S. electricity system at scale. As expected, America's electricity system has since transformed dramatically, leaving regulators and utilities in a tumultuous position and requiring updated policies and market designs to keep up with technological innovations.
The refreshed recommendations, released at the Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners, chart a course for electricity policy in America based on today's power sector realities and lessons learned in the market. The top developments underway include:
- New technology means regional grids and energy markets can now save consumers money by using a smart portfolio of renewable energy and demand-side resources, reducing the need for new peaking power plants.
- States are introducing performance-based utility regulation, enabling utilities to earn more profit from delivering customer value rather than from capital spending or volume of sales.
- Distributed resources are becoming much more important to power generation, system optimization, and long-term planning.
- Utilities and regulators are thinking about rate designs and market structures to accurately value grid flexibility.
- Interstate transmission planning has survived challenges to FERC Order Number 1000, improving regional coordination and avoiding unnecessary transmission costs.
"In 2013, America's Power Plan anticipated today's trends – several initial grid modernization recommendations have already been enacted," said Ron Lehr, former Colorado Public Utilities Commission Chairman and APP author. "Now APP's refreshed recommendations incorporate that progress and highlight a path for smart U.S. electricity policy based on today's thinking and new realities."
About America's Power Plan
America's Power Plan is a platform for innovative thinking about how to manage the transformation happening in today's electric power sector. The initiative's recommendations are based on regional work, recent scholarly literature, and insight from a network of 150 utility leaders, regulators, issue advocacy, and academic experts turning theory into reality. America's Power Plan is curated by Energy Innovation, and is intended to create a holistic approach to power sector transformation. For more information, visit www.americaspowerplan.com
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