Task Force on Energy Supply Presentations | 2018 Legislative Summit


Sunday, July 29, 2018

The NCSL Task Force on Energy Supply explored a range of topics on Sunday, July 29 at NCSL's 2018 Legislative Summit in Los Angeles. Topics included carbon capture, energy solutions for rural communities, whether 100 percent renewable power is a feasible state policy, the prospects for renewable natural gas and much more.

Los Angeles downtown skyline.

Welcome and Introductions

  • Senator Eric Koch, Indiana (co-chair)
  • Representative Jeff Morris, Washington (co-chair)

Energy Solutions for Rural Communities

Since energy costs in rural communities tend to be higher than in the city, rural areas can see great benefits from efficiency, grid modernization and distributed generation investments. The challenge for utilities is how to use technology to better serve less densely populated areas and make sure rural communities are not left behind when it comes to updating the electric grid. The session explores the risks of not investing in rural electricity infrastructure and the steps that are being taken to ensure rural areas benefit from grid modernization.

  • Jennifer Jura, policy and political coalitions advisor, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association| No Presentation
  • Representative Tom Sloan, Kansas | No Presentation

Technology and Big Data for Energy Emergency Response

Disaster intelligence and big data analytics combine data, technology and human expertise to better prepare for a wide variety of events and disruptions. This session will examine ways disaster intelligence is applied and the technologies to help states better prepare and more quickly respond to disasters. It will also explore the ways in which the energy sector has responded to recent natural disasters and events.

  • Ray Mueller, vice president of Government, One Concern | Presentation
  • Todd Inlander, vice president & chief information officer, Southern California Edison  | Presentation
  • Susan Grissom, chief industry analyst, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers | Presentation

Storing Carbon While Extracting Oil

New federal tax credits are reenergizing efforts to capture carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants and store it permanently underground. This technology, which can also assist in oil recovery, is already being implemented to a small degree in Texas, North Dakota and elsewhere. Although still expensive, advancements are continuing to bring down costs. Presenters will discuss the costs, benefits, and outlook for carbon capture and sequestration along with the state policies that enable its implementation.

  • Sarah Forbes, scientist, Office of Fossil Energy, U.S. Department of Energy | Presentation
  • John Harju, vice president for Strategic Partnerships, Energy & Environmental Research Center, University of North Dakota | Presentation

Lunch Presentation – Community Solar

Community solar has been the fastest growing segment of the solar market, reaching over a gigawatt of installed capacity in just a few years. With this rapid growth expected to continue, there could be a number of benefits, and some potential challenges, for policymakers, utilities and customers. This session will explore the current market, growth projections, and the role of state policy in community solar.

  • Brandon Smithwood, policy director, Coalition for Community Solar Access | Presentation

Business Meeting

  • Brief updates from Task Force Members

Freedom to Choose—Retail Electric Choice

As more electricity customers push for more control over their electricity services, and the option to buy higher percentages of renewable electricity, some are pushing for the creation of retail electricity markets that give consumers a choice of electric providers. What are the benefits and challenges of retail electric choice and will residential customers benefit as much as larger commercial and industrial consumers? Presenters will discuss the practicality of this approach and explore the experiences of states that have created markets for retail choice.

  • Brad Viator, executive director of External Affairs, Edison Electric Institute | Presentation
  • Melicia Charles, director of Public Policy, Sunrun | Presentation

Trading in Energy Innovation

While the U.S. electric grid is undergoing significant transformation due to advancing technology and a changing generation mix, our trading partners are facing similar challenges. In this session, participants will learn about energy sector developments in Canada and India, how they are coping with change, and what opportunities exist to increase trade and collaboration.

  • Kartikeya Singh, deputy director & fellow, Center for Strategic & International Studies | Presentation
  • Jacob Irving, president, Energy Council of Canada | Presentation

The Promise of Renewable Natural Gas

Interchangeable with natural gas, renewable natural gas is a biomass-derived, carbon neutral, and versatile fuel that is compatible with existing pipeline infrastructure. The market is expanding rapidly and 27 states now have projects in operation or under construction. While state policy has been important to driving the renewable gas market, some see the much larger potential. This session explored new developments in renewable natural gas and how states are promoting its growth.  

  • Ken Chawkins, business policy manager, Southern California Gas Company | Presentation
  • Evan Williams, co-founder & president, Cambrian Energy | Presentation