America’s Power Plan Offers Policy Recommendations for the Nation’s Energy Future

This morning, Energy Innovation, in partnership with the Energy Foundation, unveiled America’s Power Plan (APP), a toolkit designed to help energy decision-makers determine the policies needed to allow for a successful transformation of America’s electricity system. Building upon previous studies, such as NREL’s Renewable Electricity Futures study, which demonstrate the technical feasibility of a low-carbon electric grid, APP is the nation’s first comprehensive effort to analyze the impending challenges to the electric power system and offer policy and market solutions.

Over the past year, more than 150 energy experts have been involved in producing papers and other materials for the Plan. America’s Power Plan is composed of eight reports: an overview paper along with seven other papers that each discuss a unique topic within the power sector. Energy Innovation CEO, Hal Harvey, and Director of Strategy, Sonia Aggarwal, wrote the overview paper, which summarizes trends in the electricity system, lists overarching goals and ways of accomplishing them, and offers best practices for competitive markets and performance-based regulation. Topics for the seven other reports include power markets, utility business models, finance, distributed energy resources, distributed generation, transmission, and siting. The Plan also features an interactive website with all the papers as well as videos, blog posts, and opinion pieces from the authors.

APP Goals Chart

The electric power sector is a crucial element of the American economy. In order to maintain and improve access to reliable, cost-effective, and clean electricity, the grid must evolve. Hal states that, “regulators, policy makers, and utilities will need to rewrite their playbooks if we are going to build a more reliable, more sustainable, more affordable power system that takes full advantage of clean technologies.” As the power system moves into a new era of variable supply, controllable demand, and cheap renewable energy sources, America must develop an innovative energy paradigm. While there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to creating a clean, reliable electric grid, APP’s treatment of the key issues and its variety of recommended strategies enables local and state decision-makers to implement solutions that are tailored to their specific realities.

America’s Power Plan was unveiled today at the National Association of State Energy Officials’ annual meeting in Denver, and will be published in Elsevier’s October issue of Electricity Journal.