Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016 | Chicago, Ill. | Task Force on Energy Supply
The Energy Supply Task Force meeting explored a range of topics including technologies to increase the efficiency of the electric grid, rate design and what it means for utilities and consumers, the growing role of natural gas in the electric sector and how the nuclear industry is reducing costs and improving efficiencies to keep plants competitive.
The Next Wave in Efficiency
Intelligent efficiency harnesses the convergence of software analytics, telecommunications, and sensor technologies to substantially increase the efficiency of the grid. These advancements are connecting and coordinating energy use in an increasing number of commercial, industrial and residential buildings.This session discussed current trends and the future for intelligent efficiency, highlighting examples across the country. Presenters also discussed the state policies and regulations that influence the adoption of intelligent efficiency technologies.
Rate Design as Energy Policy
In the past year, a majority of state public utility commissions have either made or considered changes to the way in which utilities assess customer costs, which may have significant implications for state energy policy. State policymakers benefit from understanding how rate design can shift consumer costs and choices when it comes to energy use, energy efficiency and distributed energy. This session explored state ratemaking options and trends, what they mean for utilities and consumers, the potential role for state legislatures, and where rate making is headed in the future.
The Growing Role of Natural Gas
Natural gas production has seen tremendous increases in recent years and low gas prices are providing many economic benefits. The large increase in gas demand for electricity generation, transportation and industrial uses, however, is straining natural gas infrastructure and highlighting possible environmental challenges within sector. With natural gas becoming more common as a baseload electricity resource, it has lowered the cost of renewable energy integration, but also amplified concerns over the lack of infrastructure. This session explored what the growing reliance on natural gas means for the electricity sector as well as the efforts of state policymakers, federal officials and the industry to address the natural gas infrastructure, environmental and reliability concerns.
Delivering the Nuclear Promise
Since 2013, five nuclear reactors have permanently closed and operators have warned that more plants are at risk of closure. While nuclear power provides almost 20 percent of the nation’s electricity generation, the current environment is challenging nuclear’s place in the nation’s energy mix, drawing the attention of utilities, regulators and state policymakers. This session examined a new initiative by the nuclear industry to improve efficiencies and reduce costs in an effort to keep nuclear power competitive.