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Renewable Energy 5-Point State Action Plan Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Renewable Energy 5-Point State Action Plan

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Introd­uction

There are a number of actions that governors, legisl­ators, regula­tors, utilities, third-­party providers, and corpor­ations can take to support the procur­ement of renewable energy by large customers.

Corporate customers are looking to control their own destiny by leveraging a landscape of renewable investment market choice options, especially as many of them work to power their operations with 100% renewable energy. Choice can take many forms, depending on factors such as whether a state is regulated or deregu­lated, or is part of a regional organized market.

While there is no one-si­ze-­fit­s-all solution, the following actions at the state level would go a long way in supporting the growth of corporate renewables procur­ement

1. Remove Barriers

Remove barriers to corporate deployment of both onsite and offsite renewable instal­lations
DG-spe­cific fixed charges should be eliminated in states that allow them, in favor of more balanced rate struct­ures. The grid offers services to all energy users, but high fees or long processes for interc­onn­ection, high standby charges, and other roadblocks meant to discourage distri­buted generation must not be allowed. Interc­onn­ection and net metering policies should encourage DG market develo­pment, and should not present overly burdensome restri­ctions for DG customers. Laws and regula­tions should also encourage offsite RE. Siting restri­ctions, taxes on renewable genera­tion, and other barriers to expanded renewable opport­unities should be taken down. In their place should be incentives and rate structures that encourage the integr­ation of more renewables – both distri­buted and centra­lized – onto the grid

2. Support the develo­pment of next-g­ene­ration

Support the develo­pment of next-g­ene­ration options to purchase renewable energy through utilities in regulated markets
Many corporate buyers are looking for contracts that will help them save on energy costs or at least hedge against long-term price volati­lity. Utilities and corpor­ations should work together to ensure that existing offerings meet these goals. The green tariffs currently in existence are first-­gen­eration products and could be improved as companies and utilities gain more experience from them. They should be authorized beyond the five states where they are currently available, while being flexibly structured to meet the needs of their purcha­sers. Direct purchasing of utilit­y-scale renewables is also a relatively new develo­pment that should be explored further. In states where these existing options do not meet customer needs, the parties should collab­orate to create new products that do
 

Powering Renewable Energy

3. Expand Energy Choices Options

Expand energy choice options for C&I customers in regulated markets.
In regulated states, where signing large-­scale PPA agreements are not currently feasible, policy­makers could explicitly authorize third-­party PPAs and leases for distri­buted genera­tion, enable community solar programs and support corporate partic­ipation in them, and/or authorize new green tariff

4. Ensure that an adequate market exists

Ensure that an adequate market exists for renewable purchasing through both utilities and third-­party programs.
Different instit­utional customers have different needs as they pursue their RE goals. States need to be compre­hensive in their approach to providing options for expanded RE. States should not choose between setting up effective utility or third-­party markets. Rather, they should strive to do both. Implem­enting both Action Points #2 and 3 will ensure that a strong market is available regardless of the avenue a customer wishes to go down to procure RE.

5. Ensure that RE in Markets can Scale

Ensure that RE in both regulated and deregu­lated markets can scale up rapidly.
A key action that governors, state legisl­ators, and other policy­makers can take is allowing the maximum amount of choice according to state laws, and making these options available as soon as possible. This involves a complex set of decisions, and policy­makers will need to tailor their decisions to state laws. However, the main thrust of the effort should be to provide as much customer choice as possible, as soon as possible. States should also make renewable energy part of their economic develo­pment plans. By encour­aging infras­tru­cture constr­uction, and helping companies find cost certainty on their electr­icity bills, RE develo­pment can be a boon to both existing and relocating businesses in any state