The Energy and Environmental Analysis (EEA) Group maintains an email list to communicate new, publicly available research, events, and other activities to the broader public. We send no more than 2-3 updates per quarter. Topics are based on current EEA research, which covers key drivers of change in the electric sector including, but not limited to, domestic and international environmental and climate policies, technological change both in the supply and demand of electricity, and other market forces. All announcements are also posted on this webpage, from newest to oldest.
September 2019 Newsletter and Research Highlights
The EEA group recently sent out the third installment of its public newsletter. Download the PDF version of the September 2019 newsletter. If you would like to sign up for the EEA public mailing list, please email email@example.com
Back Pocket Insight: A Primer on Wind and Solar Value Deflation
This EPRI brief investigates how the economic value of additional wind and solar capacity decreases as their penetration rises. Key takeaways include:
- Value deflation is driven not only by the weather-dependent variability of wind and solar but also by the lower revenues earned for their highest-output hours and their low output during high-priced hours.
- Studies of deep decarbonization do not find that single technology pathways (e.g. 100% renewables) to be least cost, in part due to value deflation.
- Metrics like the levelized cost of electricity neglect decreasing value and increasing system costs.
- Despite these effects, wind and solar deployment will increase moving forward, but how much varies by region and how uncertainties (e.g. cost, policy) unfold.
EEA participation in IPCC author workshop
EEA staff are internationally-recognized experts in the scientific research community. As such, they regularly participate on scientific panels, such as the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Integrated Assessment Modeling Consortium (IAMC). Program 201 has had a long history over decades of international expert participation that has had substantial direct and indirect benefits for EPRI, its members, and the public.
EPRI participation elevates EPRI’s and the staff’s scientific reputation and credibility, provides an impactful forum for sharing EPRI research methods and insights, and enhances EPRI staff expertise through engagement with other experts, helping set scientific research agendas. In July 2019, two EEA staff, Steve Rose and Delavane Diaz, attended the Working Group II Lead Author Meetings for the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) in Kathmandu, Nepal. Working Group II assesses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change and options for adapting to it. Specifically, Rose and Diaz are contributing to chapters on climate resilient development pathways. The Working Group report is expected to be released in 2021. For more information about EPRI’s participation, please reach out to Steve Rose (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Delavane Diaz (email@example.com).
EEA Newsletter and Research Highlights (June 2019)
The EEA group recently sent out the third installment of its public newsletter. Download the PDF version of the June 2019 newsletter. If you would like to sign up for the EEA public mailing list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Back Pocket Insight: Impact of Battery Storage on the Electric Sector Mix
Our brief investigates the potential impacts of low-cost battery storage on electric sector generation and investment changes, using the US-REGEN model. The analysis shows how battery storage can help (but not solve) the misalignment between wind and solar profiles and load shapes. Battery deployment may be extensive but changes the backup for renewables more than total wind and solar penetration. Energy storage can lower system costs and curtailments of wind and solar in some grids, especially if trends in cost declines for lithium-ion batteries continue. However, the impacts of batteries and other energy storage technologies can vary by region, assumptions about the future, and company-specific considerations.
Insights into Low CO2 Targets for Wisconsin
As part of its recently released Climate Report, WEC Energy Group collaborated with EPRI to assess the risks and opportunities associated with transitioning to a low-carbon economy. An analysis using EPRI’s US-REGEN model evaluated multiple pathways for reducing emissions in the electric sector and other key sectors of the economy, including transportation, industry, and buildings. The results improve understanding of how Wisconsin’s carbon profile could evolve under a wide range of assumptions around greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets, natural gas and other fuel prices, technology availability and costs, and other variables.
EPRI’s modeling highlights the potential role for electricity to facilitate GHG reduction by decarbonizing the electric power system and electrifying end uses in transportation, buildings and industry. The exact blend of electric sector investments – to minimize overall system costs and maintain reliability – will depend on a range of technical, public policy and economic factors. Results from this analysis can be used to inform decision-making under future uncertainty.
EEA Research Summaries
The EEA group recently updated its renewables research summary and published a new electricity storage research summary. The Renewables Research and Electricity Storage Research Summaries provide a list of all EEA research related to renewable generation and the economics of electricity storage technologies, including works in progress. Web links are included where available. Publications marked with an * are available to the public free of charge or are published in academic journals. Other publications are available to EPRI member companies, as indicated by the program number in brackets preceding the publication. The research summaries are organized by topic and by date and are updated several times a year.
EEA Recent Publications (June 2019)The EEA group routinely submits publications to peer-reviewed journals and publishes research that is available to the public. A list of our recent publications includes:
- Methods to Account for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Embedded in Wholesale Power Purchases. EPRI Report 3002015044.
- Santen, N., and Young, D. 2019. Electric Generation Investments Under Climate Policy Uncertainty. EPRI Report 3002015555.
- Bistline, J. 2019. Technology, Policy, and Market Drivers of (and Barriers to) Advanced Nuclear Reactor Deployment in the United States After 2030. Nuclear Technology. DOI: 10.1080/00295450.2019.1574119
EEA Newsletter and Research Highlights (March 2019)
The EEA group recently sent out the second installment of its public newsletter. Download the PDF version of the March 2019 Newsletter. If you would like to sign up for the EEA public mailing list, please email email@example.com.
EEA Recent Publications (March 2019)
The EEA groups routinely submits publications to peer-reviewed journals and publishes research that is available to the public. A list of our recent publications include:
- Bistline, J., Santen, N., and Young, D. 2019. The economic geography of variable renewables energy and impacts of trade formulations for renewable mandates. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 106. pp. 79-96.
- Bistline, J. 2019. Turn Down for What? The Economic Value of Operational Flexibility in Electricity Markets. IEEE Transactions on Power Systems. 34(1). pp. 527-534
- Bistline, J. 2019. The Economics of Nuclear Plant Modernization in U.S. Markets. EPRI Report 3002014737.
Technical Brief: Minnesota High Renewable Standard
“Cost Effectively Achieving Carbon Goals: Renewable Standards vs. Technology: Neutral Policies – A scenario-based analysis of electric sector impacts through 2050”
EEA’s recently published Technical Brief highlights research results related to high renewables standards in Minnesota. This analysis investigates and compares the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy standards and technology-neutral policies for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from Minnesota’s electric power sector between 2015 and 2050. Using EPRI’s in-house electric sector capacity expansion and dispatch model, US-REGEN, the analysis quantifies the cost-differences between the policy approaches, and examines the key drivers of those differences, including (1) how generation capacity and transmission capacity investments in the state and across the region are expected to change over time; (2) the flow of electricity and renewable energy certificates (RECs) in-and-out of Minnesota; and (3) the revenues generated by in-state electric sector resources.
A two-page “Back Pocket Insight” that succinctly summarizes the research results is also available in addition to the longer technical brief.
Integrated Energy Network Planning (IEN-P): Case Studies
In July 2018, EPRI published a white paper identifying 10 complex, large-scale power system planning challenges that electric power system planners and regulators are beginning to confront today, and which are expected to become more pressing and widespread in the future.
In February 2019, EPRI published the first of a two-volume set of case studies that highlight how different electric companies in the United States have started to address the IEN-P challenges the second volume will be published in late 2019.
New EEA Announcements Page and Public Email List
The Energy and Environmental Analysis (EEA) Group has recently set up an email list open to any interested parties to facilitate greater communication between the EEA Group and external stakeholders regarding new, publicly available research, events, and other activities. This outreach resource will help our group connect with and circulate our research among a broader network of interested individuals. We plan to send periodic (no more than 2-3 per quarter) updates that feature publicly available EEA research, upcoming events, and news from our group.
The new email list is paired with an 'EEA Announcements' webpage that contains a list of past announcements along with a link to sign up for the EEA public email list at the top of the page. We hope that this webpage and our public email list will provide meaningful opportunities for engagement with the broader public and a channel through which we can share EEA perspectives on energy, climate, and economic issues of importance to the electric power sector.