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March 2021

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Top Story
Achieving Clean Energy Goals With Advanced Carbon-Free Technologies
EEI has joined with a number of environmental and technology-focused non-governmental organizations to launch the Carbon-Free Technology Initiative (CFTI), which is focused on implementation of federal policies that can help ensure the commercial availability of affordable, carbon-free, 24/7 power technology options by the early 2030s. 

“As we continue to make significant reductions in carbon emissions across our industry, it's really important that we also move on a parallel path to develop the zero-carbon, 24/7 resources we'll need to achieve a carbon-free electricity system,” said EEI Chairman Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy.

Work on the CFTI began early last year. In addition to EEI and our member companies—America’s investor-owned electric companies—participants include the Clean Air Task Force, Bipartisan Policy Center, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, ClearPath, Great Plains Institute, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, Nuclear Energy Institute, and Third Way.

The CFTI focuses on policy recommendations to advance key technology areas:
  • Advanced wind and solar energy systems;
  • Long-duration storage and advanced demand efficiency;
  • Advanced, dispatchable, and renewable super hot rock deep geothermal;
  • Zero-carbon fuels, such as hydrogen;
  • Advanced nuclear energy (both fission and fusion); and
  • Carbon capture, utilization, and storage.
Many of the CFTI’s policy recommendations across all technology areas address research and development, demonstration, deployment, and issues that have an impact on the cost or performance of a technology, such as siting and permitting. They outline the need for appropriations, authorizations, and tax and finance policies to advance these technologies.

In the News
In the News
National LAMPAC Highlights Labor-Management Partnership
EEI member companies and their partners in organized labor share the goals of operating well-managed, efficient businesses with highly skilled, talented, and hard-working employees. Industry and labor leaders work together through the National Labor and Management Public Affairs Committee (National LAMPAC), a joint effort of EEI and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), to cultivate collaboration, address the nation’s energy challenges, and advance public policies that support their common objectives.

Earlier this month, the National Labor and Management Public Affairs Committee (National LAMPAC) gathered virtually for its 14th annual meeting to discuss the industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, opportunities to advance America’s energy future, and more. 

Following the meeting, U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) virtually presented the John D. Dingell Award to U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for their long history of bipartisanship, which most recently included their efforts to champion the Energy Act of 2020.

Named for the longest-serving member of Congress, the John D. Dingell Award is presented to leaders who exemplify and promote labor-management cooperation and whose efforts have helped to advance the common objectives of the electric power industry and IBEW members. Read more in EEI’s press release.

Also following the 14th annual National LAMPAC meeting, EEI and the IBEW presented the Edwin D. Hill Award to former IBEW Local 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell and to former American Electric Power Managing Director of Labor Relations Tom Householder. This distinguished award recognizes efforts to advance state and local initiatives on behalf of EEI’s member electric companies and IBEW members. Read more.

Policy Perspectives
Policy Perspectives
EEI Congratulates Newly Confirmed Biden Administration Officials
This month, EEI President Tom Kuhn congratulated Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan on their confirmations by the U.S. Senate.

“We commend Secretary Haaland for her continued commitment to public service,” Kuhn said. “EEI and our member companies are leading a clean energy transformation, and DOI plays a vital role in siting and permitting much of the critical energy infrastructure we need to build to deliver this clean energy to the customers and communities we serve. At all levels, energy infrastructure siting and permitting processes must be improved, and we look forward to working with Secretary Haaland and her team to identify opportunities to make improvements.”

“As a former Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Administrator Regan has a strong commitment to public service and brings tremendous experience leading a team dedicated to protecting public health and the environment,” Kuhn continued.

“We look forward to working with Administrator Regan on the many environmental issues facing our industry, including the development of strong and cost-effective federal regulations on methane emissions throughout the natural gas supply chain for new and existing sources, and aggressive new rules for light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicles to help drive electrification and reduce emissions from the transportation sector.”

Read more in EEI’s press releases congratulating Haaland and Regan.

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Happening Now
Happening Now
EEI Celebrates Women’s History Month
Each March, EEI celebrates Women’s History Month, which highlights women’s contributions and achievements in the United States. This year, EEI is proud to recognize Edith Clarke, the first woman to be employed professionally as an electrical engineer and an electrical engineering professor in the United States. Clarke was famous among industry leaders for her pioneering work and her contributions as a woman in what was considered a man’s role. 

Born in 1883 in Ellicott City, Maryland, Clarke showed an exceptional aptitude for mathematics as a child. She studied mathematics and astronomy at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, graduating with honors in 1908. 

In 1919, Clarke became the first woman to earn a Master of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She couldn’t find a job as an engineer, so she worked at General Electric as a supervisor of “human computers”—humans who performed long calculations. During this time, she invented (and later patented) the Clarke calculator, a graph-based calculator that solved line equations involving hyperbolic functions. Clarke’s creation would allow electrical engineers to simplify calculations for inductance and capacitance in power transmission lines. The tool also supported Clarke’s work to gather data about the energy grid.

Learn more about Clarke’s contributions.

Save the Date
Save the Date
Global Electrification Forum
Registration is now open for EEI’s fifth annual Global Electrification Forum (GEF), which will feature virtual sessions April 12-23. The GEF is EEI’s flagship gathering for international member company executives and business leaders to gain insights into today’s most important issues and trends. For the first time ever, EEI is making sessions available to the public, so that more people across the industry worldwide can benefit from the GEF’s conversations, perspectives, and discussions.

This year’s GEF will consider the various pathways the electric power industry can take, predict points of inflection, and envision the crossroads the industry will face and the opportunities to be harnessed as we prepare for the convergence of transformations. 

Find more in the GEF agenda and register now.

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Collaborative R&D Is Essential to a Resilient, Clean Energy Future
“Extreme weather events and evolving security threats underscore the need for collaborative approaches to maintain energy grid resilience and to serve customers best throughout the clean energy transformation,” writes Arshad Mansoor, president and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.

“Securing the energy grid requires public-private partnerships, broad-based research and development, and close, industry-level coordination. Working together, EPRI and the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council are enhancing resilience by driving unity of effort across the industry and with government partners.”
Sponsored Content
Sponsored Content
Digital Utility Asset Management Strategies
Deloitte’s latest report on digital transformation in the power, utilities, and renewables sector presents the Digital Utility Asset Management model—a comprehensive framework that highlights what steps utilities and renewable providers should consider taking to develop their digital asset management strategy.
 
In Case You Missed It
We Are #Committed2Clean
In Case You Missed It

In Depth
In Depth
Energy Grid Resilience
For EEI and our member companies, protecting our nation’s energy grid and ensuring a reliable and resilient supply of energy are top priorities. In our recent issue of Energy Talk In Depth, learn how EEI’s member companies are building a stronger, more resilient energy future for their customers by investing in smarter energy infrastructure, strengthening partnerships, and much more.

Numbers to Know
Numbers to Know
Smarter Energy Infrastructure Investments Drive Resilience and Clean Energy
EEI’s member companies remain focused on building a cleaner, smarter, and stronger energy future—and on delivering the safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy our customers need and deserve. Following are four key facts you should know: 
  1. Since 2010, EEI’s member companies have invested more than $1 trillion to build smarter energy infrastructure and to integrate new generation into the energy grid. These investments are critical to achieving our clean energy goals. They also help to protect the grid from extreme weather and cyberattacks; help predict, mitigate, and prevent outages; and help companies restore electricity faster when outages do occur.
  2. The electric power industry is the most capital-intensive industry in America. For the ninth consecutive year, we expect another industry record, with total capital expenditures projected at $139.8 billion in 2020. Spending on transmission and distribution continues to increase.
  3. EEI member companies invested $67.7 billion in 2020 to enhance the energy grid and to further support our grid security efforts.
  4. EEI member company investments in smart meters have been the foundation for today’s customer-facing, resilient energy grid. As of year-end 2020, more than 107 million smart meters were deployed across the country. This means that 75 percent of U.S. households now have a smart meter. 

Inside Infrastructure
Inside Infrastructure
The Role of Transmission in Enhancing Resilience
In February, EEI released a report, “Electric Transmission: Enabling the Clean Energy Transformation,” which reinforces the valuable and critical role of transmission. The report details how electric transmission infrastructure—the backbone of the nation’s energy grid—provides multiple benefits to customers: “The transmission system lowers the cost of delivering energy and helps to keep electricity affordable by optimizing the grid’s performance, reducing congestion, enabling the deployment of new technologies, and enhancing reliability and resiliency.”
 
The transmission system also is key to integrating more renewables, more clean energy, and more technologies into the grid affordably and reliably. 
 
According to EEI’s report, expanding the transmission grid to meet clean energy goals could bring $7.8 trillion in investment to rural states and could save customers more than $100 billion by lowering retail rates. In general, expanding the transmission grid will reduce the costs of achieving deep carbon reduction across the electric sector.
 
It is critical that policymakers at the state and federal levels implement favorable public policies to expand and enhance the transmission system and to ensure that new transmission gets built more quickly. 
 
Read the report to learn more.

Industry in Action
Industry in Action
Electric Companies Plan Expansive EV Charging Network
EEI’s member companies are leading a clean energy transformation and are charting clear paths forward to help achieve deep carbon reductions in the transportation sector—the largest domestic source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Recognizing that transportation electrification plays a key role in reducing CO2—while also providing better air quality and cost savings for members—EEI’s member companies are investing nearly $3 billion to expand electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and are working together to enable EV travel without interruptions.

In early March, six electric companies announced a plan to ensure EV drivers have access to a seamless network of charging stations across major highways in the Central Plains, Gulf, Midwest, and South. The Electric Highway Coalition—composed of American Electric Power, Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy Corporation, Southern Company, and the Tennessee Valley Authority—will enable drivers to travel across a broad portion of the country and recharge their EVs using a network of direct current fast chargers.

Read more on EEI’s Delivering the Future website and in Electric Perspectives.
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