October 25, 2013
BCSE Fall Newsletter
BCSE Quarterly Connection, Vol. 10
President's View: BCSE's Annual Membership Meeting Focuses on 2014 Priorities
The October 10th BCSE Membership Meeting demonstrated the strength and effectiveness of the Council's growing clean energy industry coalition. At the meeting, the Council approved its 2014 Board of Directors, and welcomed United Technologies Corporation to the BCSE membership and Board. Additionally, BCSE has attracted an impressive number of new members in 2013: the Biomass Power Association, Covanta Energy, Energi Inc., National Propane Gas Association and Waste Management, Inc. The support of new members, working with current members, contributed to the results the Council was able to achieve in a challenging policy environment. Notable accomplishments for BCSE and its members in 2013 include:
• Inclusion of output-based standards in Environmental Protection Agency carbon regulations for new power plants;
• Passage of two hydropower bills and movement on federal energy efficiency legislation and tax policy; and
• Shaping of new multilateral climate change institutions: the Climate Technology Center and Network and the Green Climate Fund.
The Membership Meeting is also a time to look ahead and BCSE members discussed objectives for 2014 including:
• Retaining and strengthening federal investments in clean energy sectors through tax policy and research, development and deployment funding; and
• Securing a platform for clean energy resources, products and services to be considered as compliance options in Environmental Protection Agency carbon regulations for existing power plants.
Tough political conditions at the state and federal level bring to full view the benefits of a diverse, clean energy industry association. Standing together we show the economic and environmental advantages of a diverse energy portfolio and can provide business expertise on the menu of policy options to expand deployment. BCSE members offer a wide set of commercially-available options to help policymakers meet their energy planning objectives in a cost-effective, clean and reliable manner. I look forward to building on our successes in 2014.
Building a Platform to Deploy Low-Carbon Technology
A quiet success story from the UN climate change negotiations is beginning to take shape in Copenhagen, Denmark in the form of the Climate Technology Center and Network (CTCN) . The mission of the CTCN is to assist developing countries make informed decisions about mitigation and adaptation technologies that will enhance low-emission and climate-resilient development.
In September, the Council convened a US business consultation that allowed BCSE members to share industry-specific experiences with UNEP, the host of the CTCN. The BCSE’s aim is to create a channel for our clean energy sectors – to ensure that when a request from a developing country is received that the CTCN can connect with the tremendous networks and business expertise that exist within the BCSE coalition. The CTCN is building out a knowledge management system that will focus on five priority areas of agriculture, forestry, water, energy, and industry.
As nations begin the hard work to identifying a new international climate agreement in 2015 next month in Warsaw, the CTCN is tackling the challenge of how to deploy low-carbon technologies efficiently and effectively in countries where the assistance is most needed. The Council aims to work with the CTCN to build out sustainable markets for our clean energy industry triad, to share the policy and finance lessons learned and to deliver real-time GHG emissions reductions today.
Broad Portfolio of Clean Energy Technologies Needed to Meet EPA Carbon Regulation
The pending regulation of carbon from existing sources under the Clean Air Act 111(d) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could lead to vast changes in the US energy mix. Over the past few months BCSE’s Clean Air Subcommittee has been working to identify priorities related to EPA’s regulation of carbon from new and existing sources under the Clean Air Act. BCSE members seek to ensure that the full portfolio of clean energy technologies under the Council's banner are eligible as compliance options under the carbon rules. Additionally, BCSE members are working to encourage flexibility in the rule design to reduce the cost of compliance and market-based instruments, including the use of emissions trading and offsets in compliance planning.
As a start pointing, EPA has asked BCSE members to provide EPA and states with specific examples of the clean energy technologies and resources that are available and the policies that have been effective for deployment. EPA has expressed interest in acquiring this information and answers to other design questions over the next couple of months. Please see EPA’s Considerations in the Design of a Program to Reduce Carbon Pollution from Existing Power Plants . BCSE hopes to share preliminary input to EPA and states in November.
Additionally, BCSE met with two top EPA officials, Joseph Goffman , Senior Counsel, Office of Air and Radiation and Michael Goo , Associate Administrator, Office of Policy in September. These meetings helped Council members gain a better understanding of EPA's approach and how the Council can engage in this phase of the rule development process.
Looking ahead, BCSE is working to reschedule the meeting with Janet McCabe , EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator of Office of Air and Radiation as well as schedule meetings with other thought leaders to seek advice on how to position clean energy technologies in the carbon rules and to explore design questions. The regulation of carbon from existing sources under 111(d) could lead to vast changes in the US energy mix. The next few years could prove to be a critical time for the BCSE membership in this area and the clean energy technologies it represents.
BCSE to Host Utility Commissioners in Honor of NARUC’s 125th Anniversary
BCSE will head to sunny Orlando, Florida next month to host a breakfast event with utility Commissioner’s at the 125th Annual meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) .
At the November 20th event BCSE members will share updates with commissioners regarding energy efficiency and sustainability projects and trends in states across the US to show how far we have come in 125 years! Topics will include recent wind activity in the southeast; demand response in the Tennessee Valley; developments in the utility-scale solar market, and others.
The States are important laboratories for innovation and change and state utility commissioners are key players in making policy decisions as the US transitions to a cleaner, more environmentally sound and technologically advanced electrical grid. To assist them in this effort the Council and its members have served as an important resource to share key issues, challenges and success stories. The Council’s value as a broad-based group of clean energy industries is to show the strength of our industries working together in partnership in an effort to integrate more renewables, energy efficiency and natural gas on the nation’s electrical grid.
The Orlando breakfast will provide an opportunity for BCSE members to network with Commissioners and to leverage members’ participation in NARUC meetings. Thanks to Qualcomm, Wal-mart , the American Wind Energy Association and EnerNOC for sponsoring the Council’s activities at NARUC.