LPPC Discusses Electrification at USEA's 2024 State of the Energy Industry Forum
Across America, the energy transition is in full swing as utilities increasingly adopt new technologies to expand the ways clean energy powers modern life. This shift to clean energy is essential to helping our country reduce carbon emissions, yet it is not without its challenges.
At the U.S. Energy Association’s (USEA) 20th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum in Washington, D.C., LPPC President John Di Stasio joined a panel of experts and shared his insights about the state of the energy transition and the implications for utilities.
Increased electrification is placing pressure on the nation’s electric grid, creating a surge in demand after years of flat growth. Furthermore, balancing reliability, affordability, and decarbonization requires a diverse energy mix tailored to different regions. Accordingly, the clean energy transition looks different depending on where utilities are located regionally across America.
One practical approach that addresses today’s transition challenges is to turn to energy sources that are flexible, such as natural gas. Even traditionally progressive regions like California are extending the life of existing facilities as they recognize the need for pragmatic solutions in the midst of the transition.
In the long term, however, John asserted that Congress must advance permitting reform. Currently, the electric utilities responsible for powering homes and businesses must wait years for the permits required to maintain, update, and upgrade our nation’s complex energy infrastructure system. This stagnant process holds up clean energy expansion and puts reliability at risk.
President and CEO of USEA and panel moderator Mark Menezes asked the panel to share their thoughts about the future of the energy transition. John stated that three things will be vital to public power’s ability to continue delivering reliable, affordable, and clean energy moving forward:
- Advance permitting reform: There is an urgent need to reform the permitting processes to ensure critical energy infrastructure can be built swiftly and efficiently. Lengthy project timelines hinder the industry’s ability to ensure America continues to benefit from reliable, affordable, and clean energy.
- Prioritize reliability: Conducting prospective reliability reviews of major rules from federal agencies before they’re finalized will prioritize reliability and better align policy decisions with the industry’s commitment to ensure reliable electric service.
- Clarity and certainty for clean energy investment: The Biden administration needs to provide clear and certain guidelines around domestic content rules applicable to direct pay tax credits so public power systems can increase investment in clean energy resources.