Major decisions ahead for FERC: report

  • : Electricity, Emissions
  • 16/10/11

The next US president will help shape the future of distributed generation, market consolidation and state renewable portfolio standards through appointments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which has broad power to regulate electricity policy.

FERC's main task will be to decide how much federal policy should accommodate state policy, and how far states can regulate without overstepping into federal territory, according to a report by the University of North Carolina School of Law Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics; the Harvard Environmental Policy Initiative; and Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. While the jurisdictional line was once clearer, the growth of the multi-state electric grid and interstate markets for electricity has expanded FERC's responsibilities.

Pressing issues facing FERC under the new administration include how much to support the growth of state distributed energy sources, including rooftop solar, in the US. The body will also need to rule on utility mergers in an increasingly rapid consolidation process and to address the growing number of ambitious state renewable energy portfolios.

Only three of the five FERC seats are held, meaning that the next president will immediately be able to nominate two new commissioners to the regulatory body. FERC rules state that no more than three commissioners may come from the same political party. No matter who takes the White House the new appointees will not be Democrats, because all three current commissioners belong to that political group.

The report listed electricity market regulation, under the purview of FERC, first out of six key areas of federal energy policy to be decided by the next administration. The other areas include climate policy, nuclear energy, shale gas oversight, economic development in communities affected by coal's decline, and government procurement.


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Little progress on UN carbon markets at Bonn talks


24/06/14
24/06/14

Little progress on UN carbon markets at Bonn talks

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Japan steps up effort to lower floating wind power cost


24/06/14
24/06/14

Japan steps up effort to lower floating wind power cost

Osaka, 14 June (Argus) — Japan is stepping up efforts to lower overall costs for offshore floating wind power generation, which can play a key role in boosting the country's renewable energy supplies. Japan's trade and industry ministry Meti and state-owned research institute Nedo said on 11 June that they have decided to support two pilot projects that will seek to bring down the overall costs for offshore floating wind power generation. Nedo plans to provide around ¥85bn ($539.8mn) from its green innovation fund over seven fiscal years from April 2024 to 31 March 2031. A consortium of nine Japanese companies led by Marubeni Offshore Wind Development, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese trading house Marubeni, has won a public tender to set up a project around 25km offshore south of Akita prefecture. The consortium plans to install two floating wind power facilities with capacity of over 15MW, targeting for operations to begin around autumn of 2029. Another consortium of five Japanese firms led by engineering firm C-Tech, a group company of utility Chubu Electric Power, is planning to build a floating power generator with over 15MW of capacity offshore Aichi prefecture. The projects assume relatively large capacity deployments of more than 10MW and aim to establish commercial technology for offshore wind to become globally competitive cost-wise by 2030. The project winners should set a cost target, referencing the US' cost target of $0.045/kWh by 2035, according to the government's wind power auction guidelines. This cost reduction is needed to accelerate a rollout of floating wind power facilities and help Japan achieve its 2050 net zero emission goal. Japan's purchase cost for electricity generated by offshore floating power facilities is set at ¥36/kWh for the April 2024-March 2025 fiscal year under the country's feed-in-tariff and feed-in-premium schemes. This can be compared with the lowest contract price of ¥3/kWh for bottom-fixed offshore wind projects in the latest public auction in December 2023, with the auction having secured a total of around 1.8GW bottom-fixed offshore wind capacity. Japan is aiming to install 23.6GW of wind power capacity by 2030, including 5.7GW offshore and 17.9GW onshore. It is eyeing the development of offshore wind farms, especially by promoting floating technology, given the country's geographical constraints. Tokyo aims to have offshore wind projects of 10GW by 2030 and 30-45GW by 2040. Tokyo has agreed to new legislation that will allow wind power facilities to be built in its exclusive economic zone, beyond its territorial and internal waters regulated under current laws, while striving to protect the marine environment. It is aiming to pass the amended legislation in an ordinary parliament session that will end on 23 June. Japan is under pressure to boost renewable power capacity to spur decarbonisation because the future of its nuclear industry is still unclear. But rising intermittent output from renewables will also prompt the country's power producers to secure sufficient thermal power capacity, including gas and coal, to help adjust power imbalances. Tokyo aims to generate 41pc of its electricity from thermal fuels in the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year, which is higher than 36-38pc for renewables, under its current basic energy policy, which is due for a review this year. By Motoko Hasegawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Inpex invests in Australian solar, battery project


24/06/14
24/06/14

Inpex invests in Australian solar, battery project

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Low-CO2 biofuel feedstock imports to rise: USDA


24/06/13
24/06/13

Low-CO2 biofuel feedstock imports to rise: USDA

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