NCSL Legislative Summit
August 18, 2014
Natural Gas-Electric Harmonization
The race to natural gas in the electric industry, driven by low prices and emissions concerns, is heightening the relationship between natural gas delivery and electricity reliability. The 2014 polar vortex highlighted these reliability concerns, challenging the electric industry to maintain stability and affordability during spikes in natural gas demand for heating and electric generation. To address the situation, major differences between the electricity and gas markets, as well as the limits caused by natural gas infrastructure, need to be addressed. This session discussed how policymakers, electric utilities and natural gas industries are working to address these issues.
- Mark McCullough, Executive Vice President - Generation, American Electric Power PDF PRESENTATION
- Ron Christian, Executive Vice President, Vectren Corporation PDF PRESENTATION
Net-Metering Challenges and Solutions
The rapid growth of on-site solar generation has created concerns about the equity of state net-metering policies, which compensate rooftop solar owners at retail electricity rates for the energy they produce. While these policies have played a major role in the growth of rooftop solar, there is concern that net-metered solar owners are not paying a fair share of cost for upgrading, operating and maintaining the electric grid. Solar supporters contend that rooftop solar provide a number of benefits to utilities, such as reduced peak power demand and reduced transmission costs, which justify net metering rates. With 43 states operating net metering programs, how states decide to resolve this discussion could influence the market for rooftop solar in a large part of the country. This session discussed the net metering issue and explore what states are doing to resolve this issue.
The Integrated Grid
A variety of new technologies, combined with a growth in distributed energy generation, is profoundly changing the how the electric grid operates. How will the grid evolve and adapt to new demands for flexibility driven by the growing trend toward decentralized power production? During this session, presenters explored technologies and practices that enable the grid to optimally integrate a variety of resources—such as energy storage, energy efficiency and local generation—while providing reliable and affordable electricity. Policy changes that may be necessary to achieve an integrated grid and increase value to consumers also were discussed.
- Clark Gellings, Fellow, Electric Power Research Institute PDF PRESENTATION
- Ken Geisler, Vice President of Strategy for US/Canada, Siemens Smart Grid PDF PRESENTATION
Energy: Perspectives from Across the Globe
(Joint Session with the International Program – Room 101ABIJ)
This session looked at the energy efforts of major global economies, their energy trade relationship with the U.S., and how these relationships may influence decision-making in this country and across the globe. Discussions covered Europe’s rocky energy relationship with Russia and how this could affect U.S. energy exports; China’s growing energy demand, energy policy, as well as present and future energy trade relationship with the U.S. and other countries; and Canada’s role as the nation’s largest energy trading partner.
- Representative Jeff Morris, Washington (moderator)
- The Honorable Michael L. MacDonald, Senator, Parliament of Canada
- The Honorable Li Bin, Counselor, Economic Affairs Section, Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America
- Dr. Faruk Taban, President, Turkic American Alliance (TAA)
- Geoffrey Harris, Deputy Head of Office, European Parliament Liaison Office with U.S. Congress
Energy Siting and Military Operations
As states and localities increase construction of energy infrastructure, the likelihood that it will encroach on military sites is increasing. Wind, solar, transmission and other installations have the potential to interfere with nearby military operations by obstructing flight paths or creating technological and visual interference, affecting military missions, research and development. States that work with Department of Defense in siting and developing energy installations can ensure these projects will be compatible with military activities. This session explored best practices for state action, highlighting the Department of Defense Siting Clearinghouse.