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Energy Policy Now

Energy Policy Now offers clear talk on the policy issues that define our relationship to energy and its impact on society and the environment. The series is produced by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and hosted by energy journalist Andy Stone. Join Andy in conversation with leaders from industry, government, and academia as they shed light on today's pressing energy policy debates.

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Grid Operator PJM Talks Details of Energy Price Formation

The Energy Department’s proposal to shore up coal and nuclear power plants could undermine the very foundations of competitive electricity markets. PJM Interconnection’s Stu Bresler, SVP for Operations and Markets, weighs in on DOE’s proposal, and explains PJM’s price formation alternative. --- In October, Department of Energy secretary Rick Perry grabbed the attention of US competitive wholesale electricity markets when he issued an unusual request to the federal agency tasked with overseeing these markets, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Perry’s proposal, known as the resiliency NOPR (or Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), asked that subsidies be paid to electricity generators that the Energy Department maintains are critical to the resilient operation of the electricity system. More specifically, the subsidies would go to coal and nuclear power plants that can store a 90-day supply of fuel on-site. DOE maintains that this would ensure the plants’ continued operation in the event of fuel supply disruptions, for example during extreme weather. But the move to favor certain generators threatens to undermine competitive market principles that are the foundation of electricity markets. It could also disadvantage other forms of generation, mainly natural gas and renewables which, the Energy Secretary maintains, are less resilient. PJM Interconnection, the largest competitive electricity market, has been outspoken in its concerns around the DOE proposal and the resiliency assumptions that underlie it. In this episode, PJM’s Stu Bresler, Senior Vice President for Operations and Markets, presents PJM’s alternative proposal, which aims to reform the way prices are set in energy markets. Critically from PJM’s perspective, it’s price formation reforms would preserve market-based principles. PJM’s proposed plan would increase revenues to electric generators, ultimately benefitting the same endangered coal and nuclear plants that the DOE aims to support. The Kleinman Center’s Christina Simeone, Director of Policy and External Affairs, who has written extensively on issues related to PJM, and handles the questioning. Related Content Initial Questions on PJM’s Price Formation Proposal http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2017/11/21/initial-questions-pjm’s-price-formation-proposal What the Heck is “Enhanced Price Formation” in PJM http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2017/11/21/what-heck-“enhanced-price-formation”-pjm PJM Governance http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/pjm-governance Department of Energy Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule NOPR https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/09/f37/Notice%20of%20Proposed%20Rulemaking%20.pdf Initial Comments of PJM Interconnection, L.L.C. on the United States Department of Energy Proposed Rule http://www.pjm.com/-/media/documents/ferc/filings/2017/20171023-rm-18-1-000.ashx DOE Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability https://energy.gov/downloads/download-staff-report-secretary-electricity-markets-and-reliability

37mins

12 Dec 2017

Rank #1

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Advancing Energy Storage

New energy storage technologies are increasingly connecting to the electric grid, but it’s not clear that current rules in electricity markets are designed to help storage and new distributed energy resources (DER) participate as fully as other generation. The federal government’s electricity market regulator, FERC, has issued a notice with proposed rules that could create new opportunities for deployment and investment but also raise questions for stakeholders to address.

29mins

30 Jan 2017

Rank #2

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Can Nuclear Bailouts and Electricity Markets Coexist?

Recent financial bailouts of nuclear reactors in New York and Illinois highlight the conflict between states’ environmental goals and the integrity of electricity markets. As more states weigh subsidies, debate over their market impact and legality expand. --- In 2016 New York and Illinois became the first states to provide direct subsidies to the nuclear power industry, with the goal of keeping economically uncompetitive reactors operating within their borders. The states deemed the nuclear plants, which generate electricity without producing carbon dioxide, as critical to their efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Yet the bailouts proved contentious in the two states, and the controversy over subsidies is now spreading to a handful of other states weighing similar bailouts. Opponents object to subsidies cost, and argue that they may discourage investment in other new forms of generation, such as natural gas and renewables. And the very legality of the bailouts is now being reviewed in court. In this episode, Christina Simeone, the Kleinman Center’s Director of Regulatory and External Affairs, and David Cherney, an energy industry advisor in the Energy & Utilities Practice at PA Consulting Group in Denver, will examine the roots of nuclear’s financial woes, and the widening debate around nuclear power’s role in decarbonization of the electricity sector. Christina Simeone is Director of Policy and External Affairs at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a past Director of the PennFuture Energy Center for Enterprise and Environment. She also worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and was Policy Director at the Alliance for Climate Protection. David Cherney’s work at PA Consulting Group spans public policy analysis, energy infrastructure investment, and utility strategy. He has also worked as an Adjunct Professor in Public Policy at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies and as a Teaching Fellow at Yale University.

43mins

26 Jun 2017

Rank #3

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U.S. Offshore Wind Industry Arrives

After a decade of false starts, the U.S. offshore wind industry is poised for real growth. The Chief of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s renewables office takes a look at offshore wind’s future. --- After years of high hopes but little development, the U.S. offshore wind industry finally seems poised for growth following a series of major offshore project announcements this year. In May and June, the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut selected a combined 1,400 MW of offshore wind projects for contract negotiation. When complete, they’ll generate enough electricity to power 200,000 homes and help the states meet their clean energy and climate goals. The projects are all the more noteworthy given that there is currently just a single, small offshore wind farm operating in U.S. waters. Guest Jim Bennett heads the Office of Renewable Energy Programs at the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and is the individual charged with overseeing the federal government’s involvement in developing the United States’ offshore renewable energy resources. Bennett offers his insights into what’s driving recent investment in US offshore wind energy, the challenges to offshore wind development, and the potential for the offshore industry to become a vital, economically competitive source of clean electricity. Also featured is Brandon Burke, Brandon Burke, an attorney, offshore wind researcher, and soon to be master’s graduate from the University of Pennsylvania. Related Content Tilting at Windmills https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/policy-digests/tilting-windmills New FERC Rule Grows Clean Energy’s Role in Grid Resilience https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2018/02/21/new-ferc-rule-grows-clean-energys-role-grid-resilience Clean Energy Costs Continue to Fall https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2018/01/22/clean-energy-costs-continue-fall

24mins

24 Jul 2018

Rank #4

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Distributed Energy: Utilities' Existential Challenge?

Distributed energy technologies like rooftop solar are eating away at electric utilities’ business. Can utilities adapt, and at what cost to consumers? -- Rooftop solar attracts homeowners with the promise of electricity savings and environmental benefits. Yet every kilowatt hour of electricity generated at home translates into an equivalent amount of electricity no longer sold by a traditional electric utility. As utilities face the prospect of flat and even declining electricity revenue, concerns over their future economic health, and the reliability of the electric power supply we’ve long taken for granted, have been called increasingly into question. Sonny Popowsky, former Consumer Advocate for Pennsylvania and advisory board member of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy explores how utilities might adapt to the challenge of distributed energy and energy efficiency, and the costs their survival could bring to ratepayers. Sonny Popowsky served as the Consumer Advocate of Pennsylvania from 1990 to 2012. He served as the President of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA) from 1996 to 1998 and was previously Chairman of the NASUCA Electric Committee. Mr. Popowsky served on the Board of Trustees of the NorthAmerican Electric Reliability Council (NERC) from 1997 to 2001 and the NERC Stakeholders Committee from2001 to 2006. In 2010, Mr. Popowsky was appointed to the Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee and was named Vice Chair of that Committee in 2012. Mr. Popowsky also currently serves on the Advisory Council of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Board of Directors of the Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia, the Executive Council of the Pennsylvania AARP, and as a pro bono member of the Certification Decision Committee of the Center for Sustainable Shale Development.

25mins

28 Mar 2017

Rank #5

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Are 100% Renewable Energy Targets Realistic?

A number of states are pushing legislation that would require 100% renewable energy supply. But challenges ranging from high costs to the duck curve could make such targets hard to reach. --- A number of states are taking it upon themselves to lower carbon emissions by adopting aggressive clean energy targets. In states like California, Washington, and Massachusetts, lawmakers are considering legislation requiring utilities to get 100% of their electricity from renewable sources. California already generates two-thirds of its power from renewables on peak days, while in Iowa, wind produces a third of the state’s overall electricity. Yet as renewable energy grows in popularity, the falling costs that helped fuel growth can get turned on their head, and overall costs can begin to rise. At the same time, the incremental environmental benefits of renewables can diminish as more wind and solar connect to the grid. Guest Karl Hausker, senior fellow at the Kleinman Center and author of the Risky Business Project report “From Risk to Return, Investing in a Clean Energy Economy,” looks at the pathway to widespread renewable energy with an eye on likely economic and political challenges along the way. Karl Hausker is a senior fellow with the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and a senior fellow with the World Resources Institute’s Global Climate program. Related Content: Power Over the Twenty-First Century Electric Grid https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/policy-digests/power-over-twenty-first-century-electric-grid Energy Storage in PJM. https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/energy-storage-pjm FERC Clean Energy Policy Roundup. https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2018/03/29/ferc-clean-energy-policy-roundup

33mins

31 May 2018

Rank #6

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The Economics of Climate Change

How much should countries spend today to avoid climate change impacts that may be far into the future? A renown economist discusses the emerging discipline of climate economics and explores means of efficiently putting mitigation funds to work. --- How much will global warming cost future generations, and how much should we pay today to avoid the damage a warming climate will cause? Economist Per Krusell, a visiting scholar at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and member of the Nobel Prize for Economics Committee within the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, discusses the challenge of accurately pricing future damages expected to arise from climate change, and how future costs are reflected through the social cost of carbon. Krusell also highlights how climate economics attempts to guide policymakers toward strategies that make best use of limited climate mitigation funds. Per Krusell is Professor of Economics at Stockholm University. His research focuses broadly on macroeconomics, and the impacts that result from technological change and economic policy. He’s working on a long-term project on the interaction between climate change and the economy.

25mins

29 May 2017

Rank #7

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What’s the FERC, and How is it Shaping Our Energy Future? (Part 1)

Former FERC Commissioner Colette Honorable explains the work of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and its often contentious role in shaping the future of U.S. electricity and natural gas systems.---Fundamental changes are taking place across the U.S. energy landscape.  The growth of shale natural gas has changed the mix of fuels used to generate the nation’s electricity, with natural gas surpassing coal as the fuel of choice.  At the same time, growing concern over climate change has incentivized the development of clean energy technologies and further altered the nation’s energy mix.Yet rapid change has brought conflict, particularly between the states and the federal government over their respective roles in defining the future of our energy system.  In the electricity sector, state efforts to support renewable and nuclear power threaten the integrity of electricity markets and federal authority to shape them.  In the gas industry, federal regulators have approved a web of new pipelines to transport shale natural gas around the country, only to see some projects stall over state environmental and climate concerns.Former FERC commissioner Colette Honorable discusses the government agency that finds itself at the center of many of today’s most critical energy debates.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, also known as the FERC, is charged with regulating the interstate commerce of natural gas and electricity.  Its role extends from oversight of wholesale electricity markets to environmental review of natural gas pipelines.  This episode covers FERC, its history and mandate.  The May 15, 2019 episode will take a closer look at the key debates now embroiling the Commission.  Colette Honorable served as a FERC commissioner from 2015 to 2017.  She is now a partner in the Energy and Natural Resources Group with the Reed Smith law firm in Washington DC.  ---Related ContentPennsylvania’s ZEC Bill Reveal. https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/reconciling-subsidized-resourcesA Market for Primary Frequency Response? https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/market-primary-frequency-responseReconciling Subsidized Resources In PJM’s Competitive Electricity Markets  https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/reconciling-subsidized-resources

41mins

30 Apr 2019

Rank #8

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Distributed Energy's Wholesale Opportunity

Owners of rooftop solar could soon begin selling power into wholesale electricity markets, the traditional domain of big coal, gas and nuclear generators. The catch: electricity markets need to get fully behind the switch. --- America’s electricity system is undergoing dramatic change, in particular as distributed energy resources – notably rooftop solar and battery storage – become more common. Taken in aggregate, total rooftop solar and electricity storage now equals the generation potential of several traditional power plants. As these resources grow more popular, their potential to impact the larger electricity system also grows. Accordingly, some in the electricity industry have recognized the potential for distributed energy to participate in the same competitive, wholesale electricity markets that have been the domain of large nuclear, gas and coal generators. Ari Peskoe, Senior Fellow in Electricity Law at the Harvard Law School Environmental Law Policy Program Initiative, weighs in on the growth opportunity that wholesale markets can provide to distributed electricity, and at the policy and economic challenges that remain to their participation in these markets. Ari Peskoe is a Visiting Scholar at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and Senior Fellow in Electricity Law at the Harvard Law School Environmental Law Policy Program Initiative. Earlier, as an energy attorney, he litigated cases before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Related Content: So What Are Utilities Doing About Storage? http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2017/10/27/so-what-are-utilities-doing-about-storage A Looming Bust for U.S. Solar Industry? http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2017/09/25/looming-bust-us-solar-industry Examining the Role of Early-Stage Venture Capital Investment in Industry http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2017/09/08/examining-role-early-stage-venture-capital-investment-energy Rate Decoupling and Economic and Design Considerations http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/rate-decoupling-and-economic-and-design-considerations

29mins

14 Nov 2017

Rank #9

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Envisioning a Low Carbon, Lowest Cost Grid

Today's electric grid will need to be reimagined to deliver carbon-free power. MIT's Jesse Jenkins talks about what a deeply decarbonized electricity system might look like, and how to build it at lowest cost. --- In its 2014 report on global warming, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that carbon dioxide emissions must fall by as much as 70% by mid century to avoid the most "severe, pervasive and irreversible" damage from climate change. A key to reducing carbon emissions will be the near complete decarbonization of the global electricity system, which is today's largest source of greenhouse gasses, and remains largely dependent on fossil fuels. Kleinman Center Visiting Scholar Jesse Jenkins discusses the economics of building a 'deeply decarbonized' electricity system. Jesse, and a group of MIT engineers, have modeled future electricity systems to determine the mix of low carbon energy resources that will create tomorrow's most resilient, cost-effective, and low-carbon electricity systems. Their research is currently working its way through peer review and will be released later this year. Jesse Jenkins is a researcher with the Electric Power Systems Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is former Director of the Breakthrough Institute's Energy and Climate Program, where he led research into energy, climate change and innovation policy. Related Content: Solar Industry Growth Set to Slow: https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2018/01/23/solar-industry-growth-set-slow Clean Energy Costs Continue to Fall: https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2018/01/22/clean-energy-costs-continue-fall Climate Policy in a Disorganized World: https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/policy-digests/climate-policy-disorganized-world Tilting at Windmills: https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/policy-digests/tilting-windmills A City Blazes Its Clean Energy Trail: https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/energy-policy-now/city-blazes-its-clean-energy-trail

46mins

30 Jan 2018

Rank #10

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How U.S. LNG is Changing the Global Gas Market

In 2016 the first shipment of U.S. liquefied natural gas left by tanker from a terminal on the Gulf coast. In the year since, U.S. LNG has made its way to customers around the globe, increasing competition in the gas market and threatening to loosen the grip of some suppliers on captive markets. Guest Anna Mikulska, Senior Fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, talks about the globalization of the natural gas market, the competitiveness of U.S. exports and their implications for relationships abroad. Dr. Anna Mikulska is a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and nonresident scholar in energy studies at the Baker Institute’s Center for Energy Studies at Rice University. Her research interests center around European energy markets and energy policy. She has presented papers at numerous national and international conferences and co-authored articles in the European Journal of Political Research and the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, as well as a chapter in the “Introduction to American Government” textbook. Mikulska has served as a reviewer for numerous scholarly journals and was on the editorial board of the law review at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poland.

29mins

28 Feb 2017

Rank #11

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The Path Forward for Grid Electricity Storage

Battery storage will play a central role in decarbonizing the nation’s electric grid, yet the rules by which batteries will compete in electricity markets have yet to be agreed upon.---The cost of battery electric storage technology is falling rapidly, creating opportunity for batteries to play a growing role in the nation’s electricity system and in the reduction of the grid’s carbon footprint. Last year, the regulator of the nation’s electricity markets, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, acknowledged the growing potential of storage when it established guidelines for batteries to fully, and profitably, take part in the nation’s electricity markets.A year later, however, a number of legal and regulatory challenges remain that could slow the growth of battery storage, and make it harder for the technology to achieve the economies of scale it will need to compete with traditional sources of electric power.Kleinman Center Senior Fellow Ken Kulak takes a look at the role of regulation in defining the future of energy storage and its ability to serve as a complement to carbon free energy. He also previews the upcoming FERC meeting where the agency is expected to rule on U.S. electricity markets’ plans to open their doors to full participation of battery storage.Ken Kulak is a partner at the law firm Morgan Lewis where he focuses on energy regulation and complex energy transactions. He is also a Senior Fellow here at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.Related Content Opportunities to Bridge the Funding Gap to Commercialize Cleantech Innovation https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2019/07/17/opportunities-bridge-funding-gap-commercialize-cleantech-innovation-insights-2019Energy Storage in PJM https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/energy-storage-pjmThe Kleinman Center Explores Energy Storage https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2019/04/09/kleinman-center-explores-energy-storageA Market for Primary Frequency Response?  https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/market-primary-frequency-response

22mins

15 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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200 Years of Energy History in 30 Minutes (And What We Might Learn for the Future)

The current energy transition is fraught with economic and social implications, not to mention abundant political squabbles.  An economist looks at the past 200 years of global energy history and finds that difficult transitions are nothing new.---The world faces an urgent need to transform energy systems toward cleaner, renewable fuels.  Yet as challenging as the current energy transformation is, it’s worth noting that we’ve been through such momentous changes before. Over 250 years ago in England, coal fueled the start of the industrial revolution, opening the way to new economic growth and technological development that spread to many parts of the world.  In this episode an economist explores the extent to which energy has come to underpin modern economies, and how energy resources of all types have become inseparable from our everyday lives.  Jesús Fernández-Villaverdeis a professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania.  He is also author of an upcoming book on global economic history, with a major focus on the role of energy in economic development.

34mins

19 Mar 2019

Rank #13

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Debunking the "War on Coal"

The Trump Administration has blamed the decline in America’s coal industry on a regulatory “war on coal.” Yet investor reaction to regulatory announcements doesn’t support that view. --- The U.S. coal industry has declined dramatically over the past decade, with output from the nation’s coal mines falling 35% from their peak. Today, coal-fired power plants generate just over a quarter of the nation’s electricity and have been surpassed by natural gas plants as the top source for electric power. A variety of narratives have been put forth to explain coal’s decline. None has been more politically charged than the “war on coal” narrative, advanced by the Trump Administration, that places blame on a set of Obama-era federal policies to reduce the environmental impact of coal.Guests Cary Coglianese, director of the Penn Program on Regulation and Dan Walters, Assistant Professor of Law at Penn State University, discuss new research that takes a close look at the impact of federal environmental regulation on the coal industry.  The research focuses on the reaction of investors to major regulatory announcements, and the extent to which federal energy and environmental policies have colored investors’ view of the future viability of the coal industry.  Coglianese and Walter's report, Whither the Regulatory War on Coal? Scapegoats, Saviors and Stock Market Reactions, is available on the website of the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.Cary Coglianese is director of the Penn Program on Regulation at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Dan Walters is an Assistant Professor of Law at Penn State University whose work focuses on energy and environmental law. Previously Dan was a Regulation Fellow at the Penn Program on Regulation.Related Content Betting on Climate Solutions: Why We Should Spread Our Chips https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/betting-climate-solutionsTeeming with Carbon Taxes https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2019/08/12/teeming-carbon-taxesAs Clean Energy Surpasses Coal, U.S. Energy Transition Locks Into Place https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2019/07/08/clean-energy-surpasses-coal-us-energy-transition-locks-place

39mins

9 Oct 2019

Rank #14

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The Airline Industry Eyes its Carbon Footprint

The airline industry accounts for two percent of global carbon emissions, and emissions are likely to increase as the popularity of air travel rises. Policymakers are increasingly working with airlines to find ways to limit emissions growth. But the diverse, global industry is difficult to regulate, and competitiveness issues abound. Megan Ryerson, professor of transportation at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert in environmental impacts of the air transportation system, provides insights into the airline industry’s environmental challenges and possible strategies to address its greenhouse emissions. Dr. Megan S. Ryerson is an Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning and Electrical and Systems Engineering in the area of Transportation at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the tradeoff between economic development and environmental impacts presented by the air transportation system and the design of resilient multimodal transportation system networks. She received her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Learn more: http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/energy-policy-now

35mins

19 Jan 2017

Rank #15

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Carbon Capture's Clean Coal Ambition

Carbon Capture and Storage has the potential to dramatically reduce the carbon emissions from the burning of coal. Yet the technology’s boosters need to overcome high costs, and major infrastructure challenges, if they’re to make a dent in emissions. --- Carbon capture and storage offers the promise of slashing carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, and has been touted by some in the electricity industry as part of a basket of “clean coal” technologies that will dramatically reduce the fuel’s environmental impact and provide a lifeline to the U.S. coal sector. Yet CCS is the only clean coal technology that has yet to prove feasible at a scale, and existing CCS projects are few and far between. Kleinman Center for Energy Policy senior fellow John Quigley takes a look at efforts to reduce the technology’s cost and the relative lack of government support to date for CCS. Quigley also discusses CCS’s environmental promise and whether it can be deployed in time to make a positive climate impact. Guest John Quigley served as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection from January 2015 to May 2016 and as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources from 2009 to 2011. Quigley led some of the nation’s most advanced work on the potential of Carbon Capture and Storage under former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell. He is currently a senior fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.

31mins

15 May 2017

Rank #16

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Distributed Energy's Cyber Risk

As distributed energy grows, so does cyber risk to the grid. Two energy security experts discuss solutions. --- In recent months the threat of cyber attack on the nation’s electricity system has come into urgent focus. Earlier this year the FBI and Department of Homeland Security made public a series of cyberattacks that penetrated the control systems of several nuclear power stations. Another recent attack on a network of natural gas pipelines threatened fuel supply to gas-fired powerplants in the Eastern U.S. And both breaches came in the wake of a 2015 cyberattack on three Ukrainian electric utilities that left more than 200,000 people without power. Yet even as awareness of cyber threats has risen, vulnerability to such attacks continues to grow. At the distribution level, behind the meter technologies like rooftop solar, battery storage and demand response make the electric system more efficient, but also provide attackers with new points of entry into an electric system that was, by and large, built without cyberthreats in mind. Cybersecurity experts Bill Hederman and Steve Kunsman discuss the cyber vulnerabilities of the electric distribution system, and political and technological means of addressing cyber risk. Guest Bill Hederman is a Senior Fellow with the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and a former senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy of during the Obama administration. He was also founder of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Market Oversight and Investigations. Steve Kunsman is Chairman of the Cyber Security Subcommittee at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is also Director of Product Management and Applications at ABB North America. Related Content: Big Advance for Cybersecurity Also Important for Energy Cybersecurity https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2017/11/15/big-advance-cybersecurity-also-important-energy-cybersecurity The Energy Sector Confronts Cyber Risk https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/energy-policy-now/energy-sector-confronts-cyber-risk

34mins

30 Apr 2018

Rank #17

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Rethinking Global Emissions Trading

The Environmental Defense Fund's chief economist discusses a plan that leverages international cooperation to achieve ambitious, and durable greenhouse emissions reductions under the Paris climate framework.---The first global climate pact, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, created the foundation for global emissions trading by allowing developed countries to purchase carbon offsets from areas of the globe where the cost of reducing greenhouse emissions was lowest.  Yet emissions trading under the Kyoto framework was far from perfect.Too many projects failed to deliver carbon reductions beyond what would have happened anyway. And even where climate benefits were real, projects often weren’t built to last and deliver ongoing reductions on the scale needed to address the long-term challenge of climate change.Suzi Kerr, chief economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, discusses a new framework for global emissions trading under the Paris Climate Accord, intended to incentivize ambitious and sustained emissions reductions. The plan, called Climate Teams, creates small groups of countries that are economically committed to each other and to creating financial and technological conditions needed to address climate change over the long term.Suzi Kerr is chief economist with the Environmental Defense Fund in New York. Her work focuses on domestic and international climate change policy.Related Content Betting on Climate Solutions https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/betting-climate-solutionsWhy Carbon Pricing Falls Short, and What to Do About it https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/policy-digests/why-carbon-pricing-falls-short 

27mins

26 Nov 2019

Rank #18

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Where Coal Mining Brings Environmental Benefits

Can tightly regulated coal mining help undo decades worth of environmental damage caused by the coal industry? A Pennsylvania DEP official, and a mining executive, discuss efforts to remediate water and land in the state’s Anthracite coal region. -- Pennsylvania’s economy has long been tied to its coal industry. In the 19th century the state’s pioneering coal companies fueled America’s industrial revolution, and thousands of mining sites opened over the decades that followed. Yet, over a century later, many of Pennsylvania’s coal mines have closed as the resource’s primacy has waned. John Stefanko, Deputy Secretary for the Office of Active and Abandoned Mine Operations at Pennsylvania’s DEP, and Greg Driscoll, Chief Executive of Blaschak Coal Company, look at the environmental damage that remains after mines have been abandoned, and on cooperation between today’s coal industry, and regulators, to clean up some of that damage. The focus is on the Anthracite coal industry of Northeastern Pennsylvania, where the remains of a once large coal industry attempts to find profits, while bearing costs for cleaning up the damage of past decades. John Stefanko is Deputy Secretary for the Office of Active and Abandoned Mine Operations at Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection. Related Content: The Carbon Tax: http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/policy-digests/carbon-tax Ending Fossil Fuel Tax Subsidies: http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/policy-digests/ending-fossil-fuel-tax-subsidies Comparative Pathways to Regional Energy Transition: http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/pathways Revitalizing Coal Communities: http://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/paper/revitalizing-coal-communities

34mins

18 Sep 2017

Rank #19

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Vox’s David Roberts on Energy, Climate, and the Media

Vox writer David Roberts weighs in on the media’s role in shaping views on energy and the environment.---Vox Media’s David Roberts is one of the nation’s top energy and environmental journalists, and now also a Senior Fellow with the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. In this episode of Energy Policy Now, Roberts discusses the media’s coverage of the politicized issues of energy and climate and the challenge of being heard in a noisy and splintered media environment.  He also talks about what it’s like to live and breathe energy from dawn to dusk (and beyond).David Roberts is an energy and environmental writer with Vox, and a senior fellow with the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy.Related ContentClimate Policy Won’t Work Without Considering Labor  https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2018/09/17/climate-policy-wont-work-without-considering-laborCalifornia: The Climate Leadership We Need https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2018/09/13/california-climate-leadership-we-needThe Climate Under Kavanaugh. https://kleinmanenergy.upenn.edu/blog/2018/09/11/climate-under-kavanaugh

37mins

27 Nov 2018

Rank #20