Large-scale corporate energy buyers are seeking renewable energy as a central element of their overall energy strategy. In a few states, these commercial and industrial (C&I) customers have collaborated with their utilities to create new opportunities to buy renewable energy in ways that deliver more value to the customer.
Building on that experimentation, this guide provides a synthesis of the ways utilities can meet the renewable energy demand of large-scale energy buyers.
The paper first describes some of the existing green tariff designs, addresses why some of the country’s largest shareholder utilities are offering green tariff options, and concludes by outlining the considerations necessary to build an attractive and pragmatic green tariff offering based on learnings to date. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Cost-effective electricity storage has long been a kind of “Holy Grail” for the electric power sector. Such storage technology could have multiple benefits for electricity consumers. It can serve as a temporary source of backup power to maintain on-site electric service in the event of a utility power blackout. It can be used to improve the availability of (“firm up”) electricity generated from intermittent renewable sources such as solar and wind. It can also be used to shift end-user electricity loads from costly peak hours to lower cost off-peak hours, which can level regional generation profiles and lower customer electric bills. On April 30, 2015, Tesla Motors announced plans for a suite of Tesla Energy lithium-ion batteriesscalable for use by homeowners, commercial end-users, and electric utilities.
The oil and gas boom in the United States is overshadowing another revolution in electricity. Changes are occurring that will alter dramatically the fundamental structure and operations of this century-old industry, and electricity will play a greater role in the national economy and energy sector with attendant effects on national security, according to the report. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
South Africa, like many middle income countries, faces the challenge of how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the context of high levels of inequality and persistent hunger and malnutrition. Prices are already high, and rising, and force too many people to choose between using scarce household budgets for food or for energy. The discussion paper considers how putting action on inequality and hunger at the heart of the low carbon development agenda in South Africa could also help to mobilize new constituencies of political support for low carbon action, which could be critical if vested interests in the carbon-based, energy-intensive economy are to be overcome. [Note: contains copyrighted material].