This October, we saw a few key energy trends rise to the forefront of the news circuit. It seems as regulations and legislation are proposed and passed, opportunities and challenges for the energy industry evolve.
What’s specifically at the top of mind for those innovating in the energy industry is resolving backlogs for energy storage, making affordable clean energy more widely available, the need for public-private partnerships to tackle some of the toughest energy availability issues, as well as the rise of electric vehicles in the US.
We’ve summarized some of the top stories in the news from this past October below;
“Building EV charging through public-private partnerships” - Utility Dive
- Residents in cities typically lack garage space where they can have carports to charge electric vehicles, so cities need to get creative to make EV charging accessible to people living in multifamily housing and condos
- At the Smart Cities Connect Fall Conference and Expo, panelists already have some ideas how cities can adapt to this growing need: installing curbside chargers or chargers made available in public parking spaces like grocery stores, libraries or parks
- One major question emerging is whether the EV buyers market will dictate a larger scale roll out or if the government should provide incentives so EV chargers are built where needed
- One thing is certain, renewable energy companies and local governments will need to work together for success when it comes to EV charger builds in their communities.
“Demand on the rise for electric vehicle charging at multifamily properties” - Utility Dive
- Electric vehicle expansion is accelerating across the country due to favorable federal and state regulations, tax credits and more options from automakers
- California and 16 other states are leading the charge to phase out gas vehicles by 2035, which is one major factor driving the charge for EV charging infrastructure at multifamily properties.
- Other major factors include the number of automakers offering electric vehicles will jump from 19 to 53 by next year and that EV charging ability is also a rising factor for those making decisions to rent apartments according to the Trammel Crow
“NextEra, PGE open US’ first wind-solar-battery project as Inflation Reduction Act ups storage options” - Utility Dive
- The nation’s first utility scale project combining wind and solar generation with energy storage opened late September in Morrow County, Oregon.
- Renewable energy advocates are betting that the Inflation Reduction Act will pave the way for similar projects to the Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facilities to open across the country.
- The Inflation Reduction Act energy storage is no longer only being utilized under the tax code when paired directly with a solar project. Meaning energy storage can now be its own asset class, making room for more standalone energy storage projects as well as co-location projects like wind & solar at Wheatridge.
- The sky's the limit for energy technologists to innovate for multiple technology choices at a single site to provide more reliable, on demand energy to the power grid where and when it needs it.
“Private industry players are helping transform the FERC interconnection reform plan” - Utility Dive
- Tesla, Google, Amazon largely back FERC’s interconnection reform plan to help bring proposed generation and energy storage projects online more quickly, with some concerns.
- Support was shown specifically for proposed first ready first served framework for studying interconnection requests but opposition exists where FERC suggests imposing
- Companies are increasingly looking to buy renewable energy, but since interconnection queues are clogged, it's taking forever to get new generation through and it is affecting overall grid reliability and lower-cost energy from reaching consumers.
- Clean Energy Buyer Association (CEBA) posted comments to FERC’s proposed regulations with concerns, asking FERC to re-consider parts of its proposal that add any further burdens onto already overburdened transmission provider resources and interconnection queues and do not promote time to adapt to current reforms, procedures and agreements
What continues to be clear is the current runway for solar, wind, energy storage and electric vehicles innovation. As the US forges ahead in these sectors, consumers and companies alike are seemingly poised to reap the benefits on the other side of more widely available green energy projects.
It will be exciting to see private companies and public entities step up together to solve some of the widespread backlogs and challenges such as electric vehicle charging moving from just private homes to multi-family homes and public spaces.
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