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The Promise of Renewable Energy Microgrids for Rural Latin America

Since the adoption of the utility business model in the early 20th century, governments have relied on extending their national transmission grids to supply electricity to remote populations. Many countries in Latin America have followed this model. In the few cases where grids were not extended, electrification has been achieved by installing local diesel generation. […]

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Greening New York City’s Homes: The Case For Requiring Energy Efficiency Upgrades

If New York City hopes to achieve the ambitious goals it set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it will have to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of its building sector, which accounts for nearly three-quarters of the city’s total emissions. In this Policy Brief, Guarini Center Executive Director Danielle Spiegel-Feld and Fellow Augusta Wilson argue […]

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Christiansen – The FPA and the Private Right to Preempt

Matthew R. Christiansen · September 2016 84 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. Arguendo 129 The boundary between state and federal authority over the electricity sector is in flux. A host of new technologies is rapidly changing how electricity is generated and consumed. At the same time, state and federal regulators are adopting novel laws and regulations […]

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Stanford Law Review: FERC v. EPSA Functionalism and the Electricity Industry of the Future

In this new Essay, Guarini Center Fellow Matt Christiansen examines the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association. Christiansen argues that the decision represents a deeply functional and pragmatic approach to the Federal Power Act.  That approach, he concludes, represents a promising development for the future of electricity […]

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Building Demand for Efficient Buildings: Insights from the EU’s Energy Disclosure Regime

Author: Danielle Spiegel-Feld In late 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed expanding the scope of New York City’s hallmark building energy disclosure law, Local Law 84, to cover midsized buildings. The proposed expansion could prove critical to the City’s pollution-reduction goals. Yet, without also addressing the means by which energy information is communicated, Mayor de […]

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Next Steps for the Paris Climate Agreement

Author: Amelia Linn In December 2015, 196 countries met in Paris, France for UNFCCC COP21 and adopted the Paris Agreement on climate change. While much of the attention surrounding the Paris Agreement has focused on the post-2020 period, the Paris Agreement could enter into force much sooner–possibly by the end of 2016. In this brief, […]

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Allocating the Economic Benefits of Renewable Energy Between Stakeholders on Small Island Developing States (SIDS): Arguments for a Balanced Approach

Authors: Bryce Rudyk and Danielle Spiegel-Feld For many Small Island Developing States (SIDS) the cost of producing electricity from imported fossil fuels is so high and the cost of renewable energy technology has fallen so significantly that transitioning towards renewable energy is likely to produce cost savings. A recent workshop at NYU School of Law, […]

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FPA Preemption in the 21st Century

Author: Matthew Christiansen On February 24, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Hughes v. Talen Energy Marketing. In deciding this case, the Court must determine whether an effort by the State of Maryland to incentivize the construction of new power plants is field preempted by the Federal Power Act (“FPA”)—that is, whether the Maryland law […]

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The Rise of DG: Options for Addressing the Environmental Consequences of Increased Distributed Generation

Authors: Matthew Christiansen and Elizabeth Stein States across the country are witnessing a surge in distributed electricity generation.  DG has the potential to provide significant economic and reliability benefits.  DG powered by zero- or low-emissions resources may also confer significant environmental benefits.  But not all DG comes from these relatively clean sources.  Increased reliance on “dirty […]

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The Supreme Court Upholds FERC Order 745

January 2016 Case Update: The Supreme Court Upholds FERC Order 745 Author: Matthew R. Christiansen On Monday, the Supreme Court held that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has jurisdiction under the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) to regulate demand response in wholesale electricity markets.[1]  Although the decision is, first and foremost, a significant victory for […]