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Recent Projects

Viewing recent projects in Electricity
  • Rate Design and Distributed Energy Resource Integration: Impacts on the Environment and Distribution System Costs Cover

    Rate Design and Distributed Energy Resource Integration: Impacts on the Environment and Distribution System Costs

    This project looks at the effects of different retail tariff designs on the deployment of distributed energy resource (DERs), and their subsequent effect on pollution, electric system costs, and customer bills. We use smart-meter data and techno-economic models to simulate the effects of more granular and cost-reflective tariff designs on DER investment and use.

    This project is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and is a collaboration between the Institute for Policy Integrity, Environmental Defense Fund, and the MIT Energy Initiative.

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  • Comments to Connecticut on Energy Storage and Emissions

    The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) issued a straw program design for electric storage. We submitted comments that support PURA's efforts to make energy storage part of its overarching decarbonization agenda and provide feedback. It is important, as we explain, that PURA take into account the potential emissions consequences of energy storage operations in designing its performance-based incentive.

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  • Building a New Grid Without New Legislation Cover

    Building a New Grid Without New Legislation

    A Path to Revitalizing Federal Transmission Authorities

    In the absence of legislation, critical long-distance transmission can be developed by applying existing federal legal authorities. A number of important regulatory and commercial measures have been proposed, including streamlining transmission planning, upgrading existing transmission system components, putting transmission lines underground, and using existing rights-of-way from highways and railroads. Even if these solutions are adopted, however, state siting requirements may prove an important obstacle to developing an efficient, national transmission grid. So, this paper examines legal authorities already available to the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to develop the interstate transmission capacity crucial to the energy transition.

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  • Comments and Reply Comments on FERC’s Carbon Pricing Policy Statement

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proposed a policy statement on carbon pricing in organized wholesale electricity markets. We submitted comments encouraging FERC to strengthen its proposal by making specific clarifications. We later submitted reply comments addressing points made by other commenters and providing further guidance on how FERC can improve its final policy statement.

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  • Comments to FERC on Clean Resources’ Participation in NYISO’s Capacity Market

    Complainants in an ongoing proceeding ask that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) make changes to the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO)'s capacity market that would impose offer floors on all capacity market bids by state-supported renewables. We submitted comments showing why the complaint's arguments and evidence fall short of the legal standards required for FERC to make the findings and grant the relief requested.

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  • Comments to New York DEC on the Value of Carbon

    New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has adopted a damage-cost approach to valuing carbon dioxide pollution. We submitted comments on the DEC's draft guidance supporting the policy. Our comments also raise points about the appropriate use of discount rates, calculating damages for other greenhouse gases, inclusion of co-benefits in analysis, and further considerations for a marginal abatement cost approach.

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  • Harmonizing States' Energy Utility Regulation Frameworks and Climate Laws Cover

    Harmonizing States’ Energy Utility Regulation Frameworks and Climate Laws

    A Case Study of New York

    Unless the institutional framework and laws pertaining to fossil fuels are modified appropriately, decarbonization efforts will likely be stymied by confusion and related opportunities for opposition. This article, published in the Energy Law Journal, aims to start a wider conversation about the process of conforming existing energy law with novel, climate-oriented legislation. We concentrate on New York’s situation to illustrate how these tensions can manifest and what might be done to address them. 

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  • Efficiency in Wholesale Electricity Markets: On the Role of Externalities and Subsidies Cover

    Efficiency in Wholesale Electricity Markets: On the Role of Externalities and Subsidies

    Published in Energy Economics

    In our article published in Energy Economics, we use economic modeling to analytically show the relationship between generation subsidies and energy and capacity markets. We show that the feared capacity price suppression can happen only under limited circumstances and that in the short-run, the subsidies will tend to increase capacity prices. We also demonstrate that while subsidies cannot produce the first-best outcomes, there exists a range of welfare-enhancing subsidy rates and designs that improve welfare, such that regulators should think of subsidies as one of the tools available for increasing electricity market efficiency.

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  • Presidential Transition Guidance

    As the presidential transition begins, the Institute for Policy Integrity has outlined recommended policy priorities for the Biden administration on climate, energy, and environmental policy, and related social equity outcomes. It is crucial that the incoming administration undertake aggressive reforms that are grounded in science and economics. In recent months, we published a series of reports highlighting actionable, near- and medium-term policy recommendations in several key areas.

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  • Comments to Arizona on Integrated Resource Planning

    The Arizona Corporation Commission regularly requires that load serving entities (LSEs), which supply electricity to ratepayers, file plans with a 15-year time horizon disclosing environmental impacts from different resource mixes and how they will address those impacts. We submitted comments encouraging the Commission to ask that LSEs provide monetized estimates of the damages they expect to result from greenhouse gas emissions using the social cost of carbon.

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