E3: Energy+Environmental Economics

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News    |    2012

December 2012

Dr. Fredrich Kahrl, E3 senior consultant, created a detailed generation cost model for China that calculates the fixed and variable costs of owning and operating different thermal generation technologies. This work was done in part of a project with the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP).

November 2012

Dr. C. K. Woo, E3 Senior Partner, received the Senior Fellow Award by the United States Association for Energy Economics (USAEE) at the 2012 Awards Ceremony held in Austin, Texas on November 6, 2012.

This honorary award is given to individuals who have exemplified distinguished service in the field of energy economics.

E3 Managing Partner, Dr. Ren Orans gave a seminar for the 4th year in a row in San Francisco, CA to the Law Seminars International "Energy in California" conference focusing on Renewables and Retail Rate Impacts, November 12, 2012.

E3 recently provided training and capacity assistance to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission on scenario planning in a utility regulatory context. The work was supported by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC). The final report was available at NARUC's Annual meeting in Baltimore on November 11th-14th and is also posted on the NARUC website.

E3 Chief Scientist Dr. Jim Williams gave invited talks in October 2012 on "The Technology Path to Deep Greenhouse Gas Reductions by 2050" at the U.C. Berkeley Environmental Engineering Seminar, the Pacific Energy Center operated by Pacific Gas & Electric, and the Environmental Defense Fund. The lectures were based on a recent publication by E3 and LBNL in the prestigious journal Science. Earlier this year Dr. Williams, E3 Partner Snuller Price, and other members of the 2050 research team have discussed this work in front of many audiences including the U.K. Government's Department of Energy and Climate Change, the U.S. DOE Long-Term Energy Research and Development Working Group, and CALSTART, California's clean transportation initiative.

E3 completed a Cost and Performance Review of Generation Technologies for the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. The recommendations in the report serve as key inputs to the Transmission Expansion Planning and Policy Committee's (TEPPC) 10- and 20-year study plans, and were approved by TEPPC on November 1, 2012

October 2012

E3 Partner Arne Olson was an invited speaker at a biennial meeting of western state energy officials and utility commissions in San Diego, California in October 2012. Mr. Olson appeared on a panel to discuss the "Nexus between distribution and transmission level resource strategies." His talk was entitled "Distributed Generation Benefits and Planning Challenges." He also provided an update on E3's development of an economy-wide carbon accounting tool for use in western regional transmission planning, funded through Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

E3 authors Eric Cutter, C.K. Woo, Fredrich Kahrl and Andy Taylor published the article "Maximizing the Value of Responsive Load" in the August/September issue of the Electricity Journal, arguing that new demands on the grid mean the paradigm for demand response (DR) must shift away from traditional event-based and economic DR. Instead, the focus should be enabling distributed load-based resources to provide dispatchable, flexible, highly responsive and visible control to utility operators, which can provide significant value in integrating renewable and high penetration distributed generation.

July 2012

Dr. C. K. Woo, E3 Senior Partner, has recently been selected as a recipient of the 2012 United States Association for Energy Economics (USAEE) Senior Fellow Award. The award is given to individuals who have exemplified distinguished service in the field of energy economics. The USAEE, which is the largest affiliate of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) was founded in 1994 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, experience and issues among professionals interested in energy economics. The award ceremony will take place during the 31st USAEE/IAEE North American Conference in Texas, USA on November 6.

May 2012

Dr. Ren Orans, Managing Partner and founder of Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) was the commencement speaker at U.C. Berkeley's Energy and Resources Group (ERG) May 2012 Commencement. Over the last two decades, Dr. Orans and E3 have been at the forefront of energy and environmental policy in the Western U.S. and Canada, and more recently in China and India. E3 has been a strong supporter of ERG, by offering summer internships, employing students and graduates, and offering the Alexander E. Farrell Graduate Fellowship to support doctoral research.

IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy is to publish a paper written by Dr. Jeremy Hargreaves of E3 and Prof. Benjamin Hobbs of Johns Hopkins University entitled "Commitment and Dispatch with Uncertain Wind Generation by Dynamic Programming".
The paper, which will feature in the journal's special wind energy issue, shows the potential for grid operation cost savings when using stochastic unit commitment and dispatch modeling for systems with high levels of wind generation. The study indicates a growing need for stochastic models in system operations as renewables penetration increases.

March 2012

On March 28th, the CPUC released E3's study of the technical potential for, and associated costs of, local distributed PV in California. To be considered "local" in the study, distributed PV must have its output consumed by local load within the area of the substation or feeder to which it is interconnected. The study thus entails detailed assessment of PV interconnection potential by substation for California's 3 large IOUs. The study finds total interconnection potential ranging from roughly 6,000 - 16,000 MW depending on interconnection criteria or rules.

February 2012

E3 has posted a demonstration version of an Energy Storage Cost-effectiveness Tool based on work performed for several clients over the last year. The tool is based in Analytica and accessible on the web via the Analytica Cloud Player. The demo model calculates the costs and benefits for three storage technologies as well as a combustion turbine (LM 6000) under two scenarios: historical 2010 CAISO prices and 2020 CAISO prices taken from the CPUC/CAISO LTPP PLEXOS production simulation model. The model uses the Analytica Optimizer with an hourly dispatch to maximize revenues across multiple markets and benefit categories. (Note: the model is for demonstration purposes only and the results should not be cited).

January 2012

In E3's latest publication, we assess the utility business case for electric vehicles.  Electric vehicles, combined with natural gas fired generation, can result in lower costs to consumers, lower risk to utility shareholders, and lower greenhouse gas emissions than a business-as-usual, coal- and nuclear-dominated scenario.  However, utilities^Z carbon price risk from electric vehicles (EVs) could outweigh the potential benefits of EVs, unless current policies are changed.  The article, Electric Vehicles and Gas-Fired Power: A strategic approach to mitigating rate increases and greenhouse gas price risk by Amber Mahone, Ben Haley, Ren Orans and Jim Williams, appears in the December 2011 edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly.

An E3 team led by Chief Scientist Jim Williams, along with collaborators at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has published a landmark study of the energy future in the prestigious journal Science. Using California as a case study, the paper provides a detailed assessment of the technology, infrastructure, and cost requirements to deeply reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050. The study emphasizes the pivotal role of electricity in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
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