M&V 2.0 is Enabling a Negawatt Market

by Woodson Powell

California’s Senate Bill 350 (SB-350), passed in 2015, sets state targets of a 50% increase in building energy efficiency and 50% of electricity generated by renewables, both by 2030 [http://www.efficiency.org/negawatt-blog/new-california-laws-are-a-needed-paradigm-shift-for-energy-efficiency]. Most interestingly though, SB-350 proposes tracking efficiency by meter-based savings and authorizing pay-for-performance programs that are coupled with incentives for those savings. These changes are known as Measurement and Verification (M&V) 2.0, as first noted in 2014 [http://www.elp.com/Electric-Light-Power-Newsletter/articles/2014/02/em-v-2-0-new-tools-for-measuring-energy-efficiency-program-savings.html]. Using interval data, project savings determined from measured performance provide the ability to accurately value the benefits of energy efficiency, as opposed to the previous practice of using monthly utility data, which make it less clear to do a cause and effect analysis. For example, hour-to-hour measurements are much more informative, because it is easier to deduce what factors impacted energy savings during that interval. This change has created what is called a “Negawatt” market. Continue reading

Energy Storage Under Regulatory Uncertainty

by Emil Morhardt

A fundamental shortcoming of the US electricity grid is shortage of connected storage: the grid operators must instantaneously provide enough electricity to maintain an acceptable voltage and frequency by ramping generation up or down in real time, mostly using expensive CO2-releasing electricity from natural gas peaking plants, and if there isn’t enough demand to accommodate the electricity coming in from wind and solar, it just goes to waste. Amy L. Stein, writing in the Florida State University Law Review, does a masterful job of describing the existing energy storage facilities operating on the US grid, including hydroelectric pumped storage, compressed air energy storage, batteries, flywheels, and thermal energy, and the multiple grid services they provide. She then goes on to analyze the regulatory uncertainty that is partially responsible for the lack of grid storage, and makes an attempt at figuring out how to minimize it. This is a comprehensive document and worthy of reading by anyone interested in US energy storage initiatives.

STEIN, A., 2014 RECONSIDERING REGULATORY UNCERTAINTY: MAKING A CASE FOR ENERGY STORAGE. FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 41, 697. http://fla.st/Uyp4PQ