This act allows retail electric suppliers to create a new class of retail customer for those who install distributed power generation, on-site electricity generation that is connected to the grid. The act allows electric utilities to apply to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to establish a higher base customer charge for users of rooftop solar or small wind turbines. The higher fixed charge would be used to recover infrastructure costs to send excess electricity back to the grid.

The comment period closed for the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan rule on Dec. 1. The total number of comment submissions is on track to reach close to 2 million -maybe even exceed it.  Between now and mid-spring the EPA will be busy sifting through comments to aid in crafting the final rule scheduled to be released in June, 2015.  State environmental agencies, the agencies responsible for developing compliance plans, had much to say about the EPA proposal and most states submitted comments.

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA—The solar electricity industry in the United States has seen dramatic growth in the past few years. But some believe states could be doing more with policy to put solar on a more level playing field with electricity produced by fossil fuels. That’s what two consultants told attendees Aug. 13 at a daylong policy academy during the recent CSG National and CSG West Annual Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration issued a report last week detailing the 13,500 megawatts (MW) of electric utility capacity added in 2013.  According to the report, the total capacity added is down roughly 50% from 2012.  Natural gas and solar were the top industries generating additional capacity at just over 50% and 22% respectively. 

Be sure to join the next edition of CSG's webinar series entitled, "Challenges and Future Opportunities for States in Net Metering." The event will take place today, February 4th at 2pm Eastern and you may register by clicking here.

With gas prices rapidly approaching $4 a gallon across much of the country and unrest gripping large portions of the Middle East, states and the federal government are facing a series of pressing energy challenges. While much attention is frequently given to U.S. dependence on foreign oil, questions about rural energy production and access to markets are no less pressing in large portions of the country. 

The United States has vast offshore wind power potential.  Yet despite the potential to produce clean, cost-effective electricity, huge challenges remain to commercial deployment.  However, some progress is already being made toward developing an offshore wind power industry.

Last week I attended the Department of Energy’s Solar Boot Camp at its National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, CO.  The 3-day intensive training was held for the energy staff from those organizations that support state officials.

Stress on the electricity transmission grid is growing.  This stress can be eased by greater interstate cooperation and increased efficiency and conservation measures.