News Article | February 23, 2017
As part of Volkswagen’s $14.7 billion federal settlement for the use of illegal smog check defeat devices in its 2009-15 diesel cars, the Center for Sustainable Energy® (CSE) offers planning recommendations for states to consider when deciding how to allocate their portion of the funding based on recommendations submitted to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) during the recent public comment period. In California, CARB is closely instructing VW on how to expend $825 million that the automaker will provide the state over the next 10 years for zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) investments. It is estimated that on-road vehicles account for 33 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, making deployment of ZEVs among the most critical tools to pursue reduction strategies. This unique “ZEV Investment Commitment” will allow CARB to significantly expand on-going support of initiatives to help achieve GHG reduction goals, through sustained focus on efforts that lead to the decarbonization of the transportation sector. CSE provided comments based on its diverse expertise in support of accelerated ZEV adoption and charging infrastructure deployment gained through administering California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) and electric vehicle incentive programs in Massachusetts (MOR-EV) and Connecticut (CHEAPR). CSE hopes these ideas will serve other governments and public agencies in formulating and implementing ZEV plans. The recommendations outline ZEV Investment Commitment actions in the following areas: About the Center for Sustainable Energy® Accelerating the transition to a sustainable world powered by clean energy. Founded in 1996, the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to developing a clean energy future that addresses climate change, increases energy independence and generates lasting economic and environmental benefits. CSE empowers such innovation by leveraging its expertise in clean transportation, distributed energy resources, energy efficiency, energy engineering and regulatory and policy support. CSE services include comprehensive program design and management, research and analysis, technical advising, incentive and rebate management, and education and outreach. Headquarters in San Diego with offices in Boston, Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif. Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn.
News Article | April 17, 2017
The San Diego Solar Home Tour launches to empower communities through honest education There are 17 families showcasing their homes for the San Diego Solar Home Tour this Saturday, March 25 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The self-guided tours will take place across San Diego County in La Mesa, Scripps Ranch and Rancho Santa Fe. The participants of the San Diego Solar Home Tour will learn directly from their neighbors how solar works, how they went solar, common pitfalls to avoid, how much they paid for their system and how they financed their system. There will be representatives from local nonprofits, Center for Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Campaign, as well as solar manufactures and certified energy practitioners to answer questions about solar financing, available incentives and solar engineering. “It’s more important than ever to empower families with the freedom of clean energy and clean air. That’s why Climate Action Campaign has been inspiring, engaging and educating communities across San Diego with the tools to realize a 100 percent clean energy future,” said Nicole Capretz, executive director of the Climate Action Campaign who was recently recognized by the New York Times as a Californian of the Year. Many local homeowners have expressed interest in solar but are unsure whom to trust. This event is a part of a broader educational campaign to help shed light on the facts about solar power. Last month, the San Diego Solar Experience was launched in response to the 765 companies installing solar in San Diego in 2016, which has led to misleading information being disseminated by unscrupulous companies. Seminars were a part of the experience, which included presentations from Climate Action Campaign, Center for Sustainable Energy and sponsor, locally-headquartered, Sullivan Solar Power. Over 215 local residents attended the seminars and home tours held across San Diego county. “I liked that today was educational and not a sales pitch,” said San Diego Solar Experience attendee Crystal Cartagena, “We learned the different ways consumers can get solar – through leasing, loan or cash outright, showing the benefits to each method.” To learn more about solar from local residents, check out the San Diego Solar Home Tour this Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Orien Ave, La Mesa, 92131, Pinecastle Street, Scripps Ranch, 92131 and Avenida Calma, Rancho Santa Fe, 92091. For more information or to RSVP, visit www.sdsolarexperience.org.
News Article | April 19, 2017
When it comes to solar electric power, California has a good thing going – perhaps too good. Too much clean, affordable, abundant energy? It’s true because high levels of solar production from utility-scale facilities and widely distributed rooftop installations occur during daytime hours when demand may not be at its peak and grid-supplied electricity is plentiful. Seasonally, and under certain conditions, this leads to an oversupply of energy on the grid and requires curtailment of generation resources, including wind and solar. We should see this as an opportunity to further reduce fossil fuel generation and to build a more robust, resilient and efficient grid. The challenge is to match our daytime supply of clean renewable power with the actual demand for electricity, which now peaks in the evening. Fortunately, California is poised to turn this challenge into opportunity by putting power into battery storage for use when it’s needed. Oversupply can occur on a sunny day when solar production pushes demand for traditional baseload generation below forecasts during the day. This net load, or the difference between forecasted load and expected generation from known solar resources, is illustrated by what the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) has termed the “Duck Curve.” The “belly” of the duck shows the expected impact of solar generation during peak production hours. With increasing solar deployment, the duck’s belly may continue to expand, requiring costly curtailment of either the solar or the baseload resources. What’s more, peak demand increasingly occurs during the early evening hours after the sun has set. This requires CAISO to steeply ramp up generation, the “neck” of the duck, using fossil fuel-fired peaker plants until baseload resources can handle the load. This balancing of energy supply and demand must be continuous to mitigate the risk of both over- and undersupply, and the effect of solar as illustrated by the Duck Curve is a particularly costly and impactful scenario. What’s being done now? In response to the Duck Curve, utilities and the California Public Utilities Commission have started to design rates and tariffs to better reflect time-varying pricing, moving away from historic volumetric tier pricing to dynamic, time-of-use (TOU) rates. This means homeowners will pay significantly more for turning on their lights, running their dishwashers and doing laundry when they return home from work in the evenings. To take control of their utility bills, consumers can become more energy efficient and conserve, but they also can invest in self-generation to offset demand for grid power. Solar plus energy storage offers a solid solution to this dilemma. By storing solar energy produced during midday in batteries in their homes and using it later in the day, Californians can reduce dependence on grid-generated power during hours of peak usage and higher rates. When pairing solar with battery storage systems on a wide scale, Californians can not only save money, but also reduce strain on the grid and mitigate the Duck Curve. With nearly instantaneous response time, battery storage can smoothly ramp up and regulate supply, displacing peaker plants while simultaneously decreasing intermittency (power that is not continuously available). Energy storage also enhances resiliency, and defers utility transmission and distribution upgrades — all of which will save ratepayers in the long run. The potential social benefits are substantial, including cost savings, expanded consumer choice, a cleaner environment and robust clean-tech market and job growth. How policy can help California policy has long promoted solar energy, recognizing the threat of climate change and continued greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion. Currently, attention is focused on energy storage with Senate Bill 700 (Wiener) working its way through the legislature to create a market transformation program aimed at fostering growth of solar plus energy storage. To maximize the benefits of combined solar plus storage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, policymakers must continue the path of establishing appropriate price signals grounded in good utility rates and tariffs along with clear and transparent interconnection rules. But they also must deploy properly designed market transformation programs that effectively reach all businesses and residents, particularly low-income customers who pay a higher percentage of their total income toward their energy bills than other population segments. In this time of changing rates and higher utility bills, combining solar and energy storage improves stability for the power grid and will ultimately help Californians take more control of their energy usage and contribute equitably to the state’s clean energy future. An investment in incentivizing energy storage technology, just like California did for solar, will be well worth the effort. By Ben Airth, Senior Specialist, Distributed Energy Resources Co-author: Sachu Constantine, Director of Policy Center for Sustainable Energy About the Center for Sustainable Energy® Accelerating the transition to a sustainable world powered by clean energy. Founded in 1996, the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to developing a clean energy future that addresses climate change, increases energy independence and generates lasting economic and environmental benefits. CSE empowers such innovation by leveraging its expertise in clean transportation, distributed energy resources, energy efficiency, energy engineering and regulatory and policy support. As a trusted advisor, CSE partners with clients of all sizes to achieve their sustainability objectives through a suite of energy services that include comprehensive program design and management, research and analysis, technical advising, incentive and rebate management, and education and outreach. CSE is headquartered in San Diego with offices in Boston, Los Angeles and Oakland, Calif. Learn more at EnergyCenter.org -Facebook - Twitter - LinkedIn.
News Article | October 26, 2016
Solar installers from Baker Electric place solar panels on the roof of a residential home in Scripps Ranch, San Diego, California, U.S. October 14, 2016. Picture taken October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - For years, the quiet, winding streets of the Scripps Ranch neighborhood have been pure gold for solar installers. Thanks to its high power prices, hot summers and large homes to cool, a greater share of Scripps Ranch residents have embraced solar power than anywhere else in California, itself the nation's solar energy leader. The rooftops of some 2,000 homes - 26 percent - are fitted with panels in Scripps Ranch, according to an analysis of state and utility solar installation numbers and U.S. Census Bureau housing data by the non-profit Center for Sustainable Energy and the environmental news web site EcoWatch. The growth has been rapid. In July of 2014, San Diego installer Sullivan Solar put up its first solar system on Scripps Ranch’s Pinecastle Street, celebrating with a block party. The pizza and wine paid off: Sullivan installed systems on 11 of 48 homes on the street. “If you can afford the upfront, it’s a no brainer,” said Caroline Coats, a nearby resident who hired Sullivan to install a solar system four years ago. As much as Scripps Ranch symbolizes rooftop solar's success, it also illustrates the challenges facing the industry today. After rising 64 percent in the first half of the year in Scripps Ranch, installations tumbled 50 percent in July and August combined, according to utility data. Across California, growth also has slowed this year, and, in the third quarter, installations dropped year over year. Industry watchers say many factors are at play, including shrinking incentives, wariness of future government actions and consumer fatigue with marketing tactics. Also, many of the most likely buyers - affluent, environmentally inclined homeowners in sunny places – already have rooftop systems, making winning new customers harder and costlier. California for years has required utilities to purchase excess rooftop solar power, paying homeowners in credits that lower their utility bills. But this so-called “net-metering” mandate capped the number of people who qualified for the most attractive incentive. In June, the utility serving Scripps Ranch, Sempra Energy unit San Diego Gas & Electric, was the first to reach its limit, and the state’s other large utilities are expected to reach theirs soon. Scripps Ranch homeowners who put up panels now still will be able to sell power they don't use to the utility at the same retail rates as those who got in before the cap. But they will have to pay $100 to $200 more per year in fees and charges to SDG&E. They also eventually will be shifted to new, time-of-use power rates, which could result in lower credits. Installers say such changes will be meager compared to the thousands of dollars in savings over the life of a system. But customers seem skeptical. At the peak, installers were putting up 55 systems a month, on average, in Scripps Ranch. In July and August - typically good months - installations dropped to 15 and 36, respectively. Residential solar connections were down 25 percent in the third quarter compared to a year earlier in the utility's entire San Diego territory. "The phones just aren't ringing as much," said Ian Lochore, director of residential sales at Baker Electric in nearby Escondido. A less dramatic slowdown is playing out across California, which produces about 40 percent of the nation’s residential solar. The sector saw slower growth in the first half of the year, and declines in the third quarter. Installations in Pacific Gas & Electric’s service territory in Northern and Central California fell 7 percent year-over-year, while in Southern California Edison’s territory they fell 4 percent. National installers like SolarCity Corp and Sunrun Inc , whose investors had gotten used to sky-high growth rates, slashed forecasts this year, while their stocks have been pummeled. SolarCity has agreed to be bought by electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc , but investors have concerns about the wisdom of merging two companies that require substantial cash to fund growth. Now that many of the homeowners best-positioned to benefit from rooftop installations have them, today’s pool of potential customers has less incentive to go solar. “A lot of the early adopters have gone solar already, so the market is kind of shifting toward people who might need more information or explanation before they make the shift,” PG&E spokeswoman Ari Vanrenen said. In Scripps Ranch, for instance, many homeowners without solar say their power bills are too low, or their rooftops too shady. Ken Ingrao, a Scripps Ranch resident who said he did "tons of research" about solar, decided his $220-a-month power bill was too low to justify an investment of up to $28,000. "It's a good option for people who are spending … $800 a month putting the air on 24-7," Ingrao said. "But we don't do that." Working harder to win customers has raised costs. Both SolarCity and Sunrun reported large increases in sales and marketing costs in the first half of the year compared with 2015. Customer acquisition costs could rise further this year, GTM Research said. Some solar vendors "come across as used car sales people," said Vikram Aggarwal, chief executive of EnergySage, an online comparison-shopping marketplace for solar. "A lot of consumers tell us that their first interaction with solar was negative,” he said. Nearly 300 people filed solar-related complaints with the state last year, an increase of 25 percent, according to the California Contractors State Licensing Board, which pledged to step up enforcement. The slowdown is having the greatest impact on the industry’s biggest installers. A drop in installations in regions served by SCE and PG&E between the first and second quarters of this year mostly involved U.S. installer SolarCity, a GTM Research analysis of installation data showed. Sunrun installations were flat, while local and regional installers, on average, showed growth. SolarCity spokesman Jonathan Bass blamed lackluster performance in the second quarter on the fact that it was leasing installations to customers rather than offering a loan to purchase. Demand for a loan option introduced in the second quarter has increased every month, Bass said, adding that California sales, which includes leased and purchased systems, rose in the third quarter compared with the second quarter. Sunrun Chief Executive Lynn Jurich would not comment on her company's third quarter performance but said in an emailed statement that the industry “does face some headwinds from time to time that can include anything from seasonality to uncertainty created in consumers’ minds when we go through regulatory change.” Sunrun believes there are five times as many “solar-ready homes” in California than have gone solar, Jurich added. Both SolarCity and Sunrun have said new products, such as energy storage and the “solar roofs” SolarCity is expected to unveil later this week, will create new growth.
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Collaborative Research & Development | Award Amount: 243.33K | Year: 2011
The rollout of smart electricity meters heralds an explosion in the quantity and resolution of meter data: 500Bn consumption datapoints annually contrasts with the current volume of some 100M meter readings. If leveraged effectively the resulting dataset can support the transition to a low carbon economy by improving the efficiency, sophistication and spatiotemporal disaggregation of system management, from load prediction and demand-side management (DSM) to system balancing. This project will enable the electricity industry to make the required business sense of the data. Using the now finalised Energy Demand Research Project (EDRP) smart meter database it will develop scaleable new approaches to these large volumes of data by: (i) linking to other datasets to add dimensions to the EDRP data; (ii) building an environment for interrogating, analysing, visualising and reporting on patterns in the data. The system will be designed to address a set of identified industry business needs, such as: (a) improved demand prediction algorithms at arbitrary spatiotemporal scales; (b) prediction and verification of distributed DSM interventions; (c) identification of system state signatures for use in automated DSM; (d) visualisation of load profiles to assist network planning and management.
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Feasibility Study | Award Amount: 24.57K | Year: 2012
Smarter power systems need consumers to engage willingly with a range of new service offers from power system interests to manage demand and shift and/or reduce demand peaks. This project will seek to understand what is needed to secure that engagement from domestic consumers. It will market test a range of potential smart services across two dimensions: (i) automated/passive vs user-controlled active services; and (ii) motivators based on financial rewards vs motivators based on non-financial rewards known to enhance wellbeing. In theory, the system might gain most smartness from automated demand response services taken up by consumers in return for the modest financial value which that response creates for the system. This project will find out whether this holds true in practice for consumers and how consumers respond to different smart approaches based on different motivational rewards.
News Article | February 15, 2017
At a standards meeting held in January at AUDI AG in Ingolstadt, Germany, carmakers, Tier 1 suppliers, and technology providers from around the world have reached agreement on key technical and procedural elements of the upcoming SAE Recommended Practice (RP) Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) and automated parking alignment and charging of electrified vehicles. The goal of this standardization is to ensure interoperability and performance between the wide range of electrified vehicles being developed by carmakers worldwide, and the wireless charging stations that will be widely deployed to streamline the charging of the next generation of EV’s and PHEV’s. The SAE J2954™ Taskforce, chaired by Jesse Schneider, has been working since 2010 to develop the specifications and standards needed to achieve seamless interoperability. “Charging your vehicle should be as simple as parking it and walking away—and wireless charging with SAE J2954™ enables that freedom and convenience to do this automatically,” says Mr. Schneider. “Automakers believe that wireless charging can greatly help to make both electrified and autonomous vehicles mainstream, and they have been active supporters of our standardization efforts. Reaching a decision for a common J2954™ RP test station, equipped with circular topology, provides automakers with the technical direction for their wireless charging system design, development and production release plans to meet industry compatibility, interoperability and performance standards. It is a major step forward for the industry.” The Taskforce members have agreed on specifications for the SAE J2954™ Test Stations, which automakers will use as a basis to develop their wireless charging systems, and to verify that they will interoperate with charging systems and vehicles sold by other makers. The Taskforce agreed that the WPT1 (3.7 kW) circular coil system and the WPT2 (7.7 kW) circular coil system will be in the Test Stations used to test products developed by car makers, Tier 1 suppliers, and charging infrastructure suppliers to confirm SAE J2954™ compatibility. These wireless charging systems charge at the same rate that existing Level 1 and Level 2 wired chargers operate. Earlier in 2016, SAE International performed bench testing of these systems at the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory and TDK to confirm that charging rates, efficiency, and emissions can meet regulatory guidelines and consumer expectations. Testing results validated interoperability between different coils (both circular and DD) with high efficiency. This enabled the RP SAE J2954™ test station to have a greater degree of freedom to prove interoperability with other topologies with newly established interoperability criteria. The goal is to standardize key elements but at the same time “keep the door open” for innovations in wireless automated charging in the future. The consensus reached by the Taskforce enables carmakers the freedom to design the components for their own vehicles based on their preference for coil topology and power electronics design, while assuring that such systems will interoperate with the charging source that is deployed on the ground. In 2017, the Taskforce will decide on other aspects of the standard, including standardization for wireless charging systems capable of WPT3 (11 kW) charge rates. The specifications of the SAE Test Station and procedures for validation for both the vehicle and infrastructure chargers will be defined in the SAE J2954™ Recommended Practice to be published later this year. The final SAE J2954™ Standard is to be published in 2018 based on actual vehicle test data. On February 6th at the Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego (the day before the SAE Hybrid Forum), the SAE J2954 Taskforce is having a technology forum to discuss standardization, status and plans for vehicle testing, and implementation of wireless charging systems with CARB, CEC, and the public. To attend this meeting, see the SAE Website: https://www.sae.org/servlets/works/upcomingmeetingResources.do?eventGenNum=34223
News Article | March 15, 2016
« ABI Research forecasts nearly 203M Software-Over-the-Air-enabled cars to ship by 2022 | Main | America Makes and ANSI launch additive manufacturing standardization collaborative » In order to make clean vehicles more accessible to a greater number of California drivers, especially in communities that are highly impacted by air pollution, the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP) is implementing increased incentive levels for low- and moderate-income consumers and high-income eligibility caps. The California Air Resources Board approved the changes in June 2015, as directed by the Charge Ahead California Initiative established by Senate Bill 1275 (De León). They will apply statewide to vehicle purchases or leases effective 29 March 2016. Since 2010, the CVRP has issued more than $291 million in rebates for more than 137,200 vehicles, according to the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE), which administers the ARB program. Rebates cover a range of battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles. For low- and moderate-income consumers, CVRP rebates for all types of eligible light-duty passenger vehicles are being increased by $1,500. When combined with the $7,500 federal tax credit for battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, the California rebates provide savings of up to $11,500. To qualify for the increased rebates, applicants must have household incomes less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. For an individual, the gross annual income limit is $35,640, and for a household of four, it is $72,900. Higher income consumers will not be eligible for CVRP rebates if their gross annual income exceeds $250,000 for single tax filers, $340,000 for head of household filers and $500,000 for joint filers. Income levels will be determined by the amount reported on the applicant’s federal tax return. The caps do not apply to fuel-cell electric vehicles, which represent less than 1 percent of CVRP’s applications and qualify for rebates of $5,000. Applicants may be required to provide proof of income. Additional clean vehicle rebates based on income eligibility are available in disadvantaged communities in the South Coast Air Quality Management District and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. ARB’s Drive Clean website offers a guide for clean vehicle incentives at DriveClean.CA.gov. The incentives, and this project, are part of California Climate Investments, which use proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing a variety of additional benefits to California communities.
News Article | January 27, 2016
This Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission is expected to vote on a final plan for what the state’s next phase of net energy metering (NEM) policies will look like -- at least for the next four years. And if the final decision looks anything like last month’s proposed decision (and according to observers, it probably will), it will be a major victory for the solar industry. So far, we’ve seen little sign that commissioners are going to reconsider the key solar-friendly points of last month’s proposed decision -- namely, retaining retail-rate compensation for customers' surplus solar power and rejecting additional fees for net-metered solar systems. That’s more or less what solar advocates had asked for, and it’s a pretty good deal, compared to other net metering policies coming out of states like Hawaii or, more recently, Nevada. The proposal hasn’t sat well with investor-owned utilities Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, however. Earlier this month, they filed an unusual joint alternative proposal, seeking a last-minute compromise -- an export compensation rate of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour until installed systems reach 7 percent of a utility’s customer peak demand, and a rate of 13 cents per kilowatt-hour thereafter. That’s more than the rates utilities had originally proposed, but significantly less than the average retail rates paid by residential customers. Meanwhile, the unexpected decision by Congress to extend the federal Investment Tax Credit for solar has added a new variable to the net metering debate -- namely, how it might alter the equation for solar costs over the coming years. Last Wednesday, CPUC Commissioner Michael Florio held a meeting for utilities, solar companies and other parties to discuss how the ITC extension might require alterations to this week’s final NEM 2.0 decision. Solar advocates had worried that this meeting might serve as a forum for the commission to introduce the new utility ideas into an alternative proposal. But Wednesday’s meeting passed without mention of any significant changes to what’s already been proposed. “The news, really, was in what didn’t happen -- no alternative was proposed,” Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, said in an email this week. With only a day now left before Thursday’s vote, it’s unlikely that an alternative proposal will emerge, given that the CPUC is already several weeks past its statutory deadline to set the new program in motion, she noted. That doesn't rule out some minor tweaks that could alter the economic equation for net-metered solar, however. According to a Monday investors note from Credit Suisse analysts, “Parties also discussed reducing the grandfather guarantee to 10 years from 20 years (which we believe is unlikely), mandatory TOU plans, and how the costs and benefits of solar should be calculated.” The issue of 10-year versus 20-year guarantees is potentially problematic for solar economics. Today, existing net-metering customers are guaranteed to keep their NEM rates for 20 years under a “grandfathering” structure, and last month’s proposed decision applied the same logic to the successor program. Cutting that period to 10 years could undercut the business case for power-purchase agreements, leases and other structures that have driven the third-party solar models that now dominate new rooftop PV growth. But according to Stephanie Wang, senior policy attorney at the Center for Sustainable Energy, last week’s discussion about 10-year versus 20-year guarantees wasn’t focused on changing current grandfathering policies. Instead, it came up during a conversation about system financing, which indicates that “the CPUC was trying to get a sense of whether the interim tariff proposal hit the right balance between maintaining steady solar growth during this interim period and being cautious with ratepayer funds.” That brings up an important point, however, she said -- the fact that net metering 2.0, as the CPUC’s successor program is called, is meant as an interim solution. Specifically, the CPUC highlighted that it intends to revisit net metering policies in 2019. By then, it expects to have a whole new set of regulatory structures in place that will put a new spin on finding the right value for rooftop solar and other distributed energy resources (DERs). These new policies include time-of-use rates, which will charge different prices at different times of the day to better tie the cost of retail power to wholesale energy costs. These are part of a broader set of residential rate changes set in place by the CPUC last year, including flattening the state's longstanding tiered monthly charges, adding minimum monthly bills, and switching all residential customers to time-of-use rates by the end of the decade. Under the CPUC’s proposed NEM decision, these TOU rates are set to be applied first to solar customers, ahead of a broad switchover for most residential customers starting in 2019. Beyond that, however, the CPUC is looking forward to the need to merge net-metering policies with two big distributed energy proceedings it has underway. The first, its distribution resources plan (DRP), is meant to include the value of rooftop solar, energy storage, demand response and other DERs in the multibillion-dollar grid investment plans of the state’s big three utilities. The second, known as integration of distributed energy resources (IDER), is meant to put these values into play as real-world economic incentives, rate structures and utility tariffs. As the CPUC explained in last month’s proposed decision, reviewing net metering in 2019 is an attempt to create a near-term policy that will sustain solar growth, while leaving the door open to a more sophisticated approach once these new policies are ready to be put into practice: Given the choice between making a large change from existing NEM now and waiting for what promises to be much better tools for grounding that choice, we choose to base the successor tariff on current NEM, with changes that will better align the responsibilities of NEM customers with those of other customers in their class, looking toward the time when a more comprehensive reform of residential rates is completed and information from the DRP and IDER proceedings is available. This is a common challenge for many different CPUC proceedings, from its energy storage mandate to its new approaches to demand response and energy efficiency, Wang noted in a recent blog post. But its specific mention in last month’s NEM proposal is “the first time the CPUC has made this point” explicitly, she said in an interview this week. “The fact that the [proposed decision] calls out the revisit of NEM 2.0 in 2019 after they figure out rates and IDER/DRP means that the other next big issues are, first, the timing and design of integrated DER sourcing mechanisms that will be developed through the IDER proceeding, and second, the quantifiable and monetizable locational value of DERs,” she said. “All the solar folks who’ve been focused on NEM 2.0 will likely find that they need to engage on market designs and new business models for integrated prosumer solutions going forward.”
News Article | March 11, 2016
GTM Squared live streamed the visionary California's Distributed Energy Future 2016 from San Francisco, Calif. on March 16. See the archives below. GTM event live streams are now exclusively available to GTM Squared members. As a member, you get access to 50+ hours of live coverage from our industry-leading conferences throughout the year. Drawing upon data and analysis from GTM's solar, energy storage and grid edge research teams, Shayle Kann will place California within the context of the national transition toward a distributed energy system. Click here to watch this session. Enter the password SQUARED to gain access. A one-on-one interview covering California's largest utility's views on distributed energy, the ongoing regulatory proceedings, and the future of the grid. Click here to watch this session. Enter the password SQUARED to gain access. California is at the forefront of the push to consider distributed energy resources as assets to the grid. On this panel, leading experts discuss the benefits and challenges of shifting the lens through which distributed energy is viewed, and how markets must adjust to enable this transformation. Click here to watch this session. Enter the password SQUARED to gain access. As distributed energy expands in California, electricity rate structures will take center stage. Tomorrow's rates should send appropriate price signals to customers while minimizing complexity and protecting lower-income ratepayers. In this session, experts on electricity rates will discuss California's currently planned rates and where tariffs should head next in order to efficiently maintain distributed energy growth. Click here to watch this session. Enter the password SQUARED to gain access. California is in the midst of a variety of proceedings that will help incorporate distributed energy into grid planning and ultimately catalyze further distributed energy growth. This panel will bring those disparate pieces together to provide a cohesive view on California's progression toward a better link between distributed energy and grid infrastructure. Click here to watch this session. Enter the password SQUARED to gain access. In this fireside chat, the president of the CPUC will discuss his views on California's various distributed energy regulatory proceedings and where he expects the CPUC to take action to further expand distributed energy's role in the state's mix. Click here to watch this session. Enter the password SQUARED to gain access. In our most popular conference format, this session will take the pulse of California's distributed energy market by polling the audience. Attendees will vote on a series of questions surrounding the future of distributed energy in California, and a panel of experts will present their own votes while reacting to the crowd. Click here to watch this session. Enter the password SQUARED to gain access. The growth of distributed energy is contingent on the increased availability of data from customers, utilities, and third parties. But data access comes with challenges ranging from technical to security concerns. This panel will discuss the data that is and will become available to foster the distributed energy transition, and how to overcome the challenges presented by making this data widely available. Click here to watch this session. Enter the password SQUARED to gain access. As the California electricity system evolves toward a more distributed landscape, the customer will become increasingly central to the market's future. But distributed energy is only as valuable as the customer finds it, and DER providers need to focus first on designing solutions that delight their customers. This session will dive into the customer mindset and discuss what the end user really wants out of the distributed energy future. Click here to watch this session. Enter the password SQUARED to gain access. Who will provide the capital for the distributed energy future? What types of financing solutions will emerge as the market develops? What challenges will DER providers face as they seek to raise capital to fund their developments? In this session, a panel of finance providers will discuss these questions and others to help illuminate the ways in which financing will accelerate, or hinder, California's distributed energy market. Click here to watch this session. Enter the password SQUARED to gain access. Case Study 2: Vehicle-Grid Integration: The World’s First Demand Clearing House Presenters: Michelle Bogen, Project Associate, Center for Sustainable Energy, and Stephen G. Davis, CEO, KnGrid Case Study 3: Using AMI to Turn Energy Efficiency Into a DER Presenter: Matt Golden, CEO, Open Energy Efficiency