Regulation, Sourcing Renewables - May 6, 2020
Supply choice and utility programs are key to increasing C&I RE, report finds
A new report from the REBA Institute found that the fastest and most cost-effective path to increasing customer renewable energy access could be expanding competitive supply options, utility subscription programs and renewable energy portfolio standards.
REBA’s Renewable Energy Policy Pathways report includes an outline of options for policymakers, utilities and other stakeholders for increasing cost-effective and customer-driven renewable electricity in the marketplace. The group finds three main pathways to increasing renewable electricity for commercial and industrial customers:
- Advancing state RPS that would accelerate renewable energy procurement for all customers, despite the fact that these standards do not directly provide procurement options for C&I customers to go beyond state established renewable energy targets.
- Expanding utilities’ renewable energy subscription programs available to C&I where customers do not have supply choice
- Introducing supply choice for C&I that would allow the opportunity to expand access to potentially 100% of their needs, which was found to lower costs of renewable energy procurement by up to 11%
“Large energy customers have a powerful role to play in the decarbonization of the electricity sector and are increasing their momentum with aggressive renewable goals,” Bryn Baker, director of policy innovation at REBA, said in a statement. “The economic development benefit of supporting such policies should also be considered as many corporations make decisions on where to site or expand operations based on where clean energy access is possible.”
The report was developed by consultants at the Brattle Group, which looked at eight sample states across the U.S. to evaluate the various market and regulatory structures, renewable resource potential and existing power generation portfolios. The Brattle Group also found that participation in centrally organized wholesale markets makes any of these policy pathways cheaper and is key to increasing customer options, reducing costs and facilitating greater renewable energy integration.
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