News - Transmission and Power Markets

Nicholas Institute Senior Counsel Jennifer Chen was recently invited to speak before the U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. Her remarks focused on how regional energy markets could help cut greenhouse gas emissions while providing consumer savings and economic opportunities to all states—regardless of individual state climate ambitions.

The Gulf Coast Power Association’s annual Spring Conference on April 16-17 began the day after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear challenges to Illinois’ and New York’s zero-emission credit programs. The court’s decision was a stark reminder that individual states are driving changes to the country’s electric generation mix, often to the frustration of the grid operators charged with operating competitive, economically efficient markets, reports RTO Insider.

A new article in Law360 discusses how Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s plan to seek bankruptcy protection to address crippling liabilities for California wildfires should ring alarm bells for utilities, regulators and lawmakers in other states and force them to examine whether the current utility business model can accommodate climate change-related risks to energy infrastructure, policy experts say.

The White House, federal agencies and some regional grid operators are seeking to boost electric grid reliability and resilience. In Utility Dive, Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions' Kate Konschnik and Jennie Chen write that improving grid flexibility could achieve the aims of fuel security more cost effectively while modernizing and decarbonizing the grid.

As the U.S. electricity sector continues to undergo market shifts, grid operators in the competitive wholesale electricity markets are responding to those changes in a variety of ways.  Many of these interests have found help navigating the uncharted territory with Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

Robert Powelson of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Wednesday reiterated his defense of organized markets but said he sees an “erosion of confidence” in RTO stakeholder processes, reports RTO Insider. Powelson, who made the observation in a speech at a PJM issues workshop sponsored by the Great Plains Institute and Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. He cited concerns over escalating transmission rates and PJM’s February “jump ball” filing of two competing proposals for insulating its capacity market from state-subsidized generation. 

In a blog post, the Great Plains Institute's Doug Scott discusses Energy and Environmental Developments in the PJM Region, an event taking place in Washington, D.C., on May 2.

Researchers at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions have developed a deep understanding of both the electricity sector’s potential responses to regulatory, market, and technology changes and the emissions consequences of those responses. Our legal analyses and modeling have provided a solid foundation to help states address their own distinct decision-making challenges amid uncertainty, which has only deepened as the Trump administration looks to roll back Obama-era climate policies.