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.
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.
On the Role of Externalities and Subsidies (Working Paper)
In our latest working paper, 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.
Near-Term Steps to Address Climate Change
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should take an active role in better aligning regulatory practices with climate policies, speeding up development of necessary transmission infrastructure, and reforming energy market rules. This report details the specific policy reforms that federal policymakers should pursue to take advantage of important opportunities energy markets can provide to combat climate change while ensuring an economically efficient and speedy clean energy transition.
Subregional Estimates of the Environmental Value of Distributed Energy Resources in the United States
This report provides a new set of hourly E-Values for the whole United States, broken down into 19 subregions, using an open-source reduced-order dispatch model. The patterns uncovered by these estimates can help policymakers design economically efficient DER policies to reduce air pollution from electricity generators.
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