Insights from Our Experts

Getting More Mileage from State VW Settlement Funds

by Nancy Seidman on

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice reached an unprecedented settlement in Volkswagen’s enforcement case, in which the automaker was found to have cheated on vehicle emissions tests. Under the $14.7 billion settlement, VW is required to: Create a program to buy back or retrofit the vehicles involved; Create a subsidiary—Electrify America—to develop zero-emission vehicle…

Customizing Decoupling for Your State

by Richard Sedano on

Since its formation over a hundred years ago, the electric utility industry in the United States, and the regulatory framework that governs it, has traditionally operated under the core principle that if you sell more electrons, you earn more money. This is also called the “throughput incentive.” It’s the same with businesses from lemonade stands…

Efficiency First: A Crucial Building Block for the Energiewende

by Andreas Jahn on

When the German Ministry of Energy and Economic Affairs published its green paper on energy efficiency, it not only put the spotlight on efficiency, it also started the conversation around a necessary underlying energy policy framework. Until now, energy efficiency has been viewed merely as an additional service offered to end-use customers, but rarely as…

Efficiency First – der bisher fehlende Baustein der Energiewende

by Andreas Jahn on

Das Bundeswirtschaftsministerium hat mit seinem Grünbuch Energieeffizienz das Thema aus der Nische geholt und damit einen guten Startpunkt für die Diskussion des notwendigen ordnungsrechtlichen Rahmens gesetzt. Denn bisher wurde Energieeffizienz oft nur als zusätzliches Serviceangebot für Endkunden gesehen, jedoch selten als elementarer Baustein für das Gelingen der Energiewende. Nachfrageressourcen, also Energieeinsparung oder Lastverschiebung, werden in…

Reducing Renewables Curtailment in China—An Air Quality Measure

by Sara Shapiro-Bengtsen on

When Premier Li recently delivered the 2017 government work report, he stressed the importance of efficient integration of renewable energy as a measure to make Chinese skies blue again. Although China has become the biggest investor in renewable energy and has the most installed capacity, it does not reap the full benefits of these investments….

Retooling Regulation: Breaking the Trail Forward

by Christopher James Ken Colburn on

In our prior Retooling Regulation posts, we illuminated the need to integrate energy and environmental regulatory planning processes, spotlighted recommended steps to do so via a process we’ve dubbed “E-Merge,” and considered the legality of such an approach. In this fourth and last post, we look at experience to date with related retooling efforts. First,…

Don’t Throw Out the Energy Efficiency Baby with the Brexit Bathwater

by Jan Rosenow Pedro Guertler Richard Cowart on

Will Brexit put energy efficiency progress in the UK at risk, ask Jan Rosenow and Richard Cowart of RAP and Pedro Guertler of the Association for the Conservation of Energy? In electric appliances and heating systems—probably not. The biggest risk is in the building sector. UK policymakers will need to put efficiency first if they…

Preparing for Emergencies with Wind, Solar, Energy Storage, and Microgrids

by John Shenot on

Resilience is a character trait that is universally admired and respected in people. In recent years, it has also gained attention as a new imperative for infrastructure planning and development. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy and other recent natural disasters, there is heightened awareness that one of the essential components of resilience is the…

Buildings Have Quietly Become the Most Strategic Energy Investment in Europe

by Edith Bayer on

At the second State of the Energy Union conference, European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič noted the central role of local authorities and the business community in driving energy efficiency in Europe and underlined the Commission’s determination to harness the European Fund for Strategic Investments to build on progress. The Energy Union encompasses five “pillars” that all…

Utilities Can Get a “LEG” Up with Beneficial Electrification—But Regulators Also Have to be Ready

by Ken Colburn Richard Sedano on

In a series of blog posts over the last several weeks, RAP has spotlighted the opportunities associated with beneficial electrification—the practice of electrifying appliances and machines that are currently powered by fossil fuels. Embracing beneficial electrification provides a significant opportunity for utilities, making them more competitive by giving them a “LEG up”—where “L” stands for…