Support emerging technologies to reduce carbon in existing infrastructure

Just as we’ve seen innovations and cost improvements in solar, wind, and battery technologies over the last 20 years, there are other emerging technologies that overcome inherent limitations of earlier approaches. Opportunities include improving safety and reliability, transforming impaired or potentially stranded assets into sustainable resources, and achieving decarbonization goals at lower cost or with more efficient land use.

Duck Curve

Most people in the energy sector are familiar with the “Duck Curve.” This occurs when there is an overabundance of solar generation during the day, requiring resources to be curtailed (shut down), followed by a steep ramp in demand when many people get home from work and want to cook, heat or cool their homes, use appliances, and charge electric vehicles and devices (and solar resources are no longer producing electricity).

Emerging technologies have the potential to cost-effectively reduce carbon while maintaining the social compact for universal service

Hybrid approaches like compressed air storage or long-duration, large-scale thermal storage technologies like those offered by Pintail Power and Wellhead Electric have the potential to cost-effectively reduce carbon while maintaining the social compact for universal service.

  • Transform existing gas power and peaker plants into flexible, dispatchable storage
  • Transform existing gas power and peaker plants into flexible, dispatchable storage
  • Increase utilization of renewables while avoiding curtailment
  • Provider a dispatchable buffer so DERs contribute to the common supply

Integrate green and renewable gases

Similarly, if we support and integrate green and renewable gases currently in development, we have the opportunity to use the existing gas distribution infrastructure and further reduce carbon emissions.

Well-intentioned electrification programs seeking to retrofit millions of buildings to eliminate natural gas use within a decade will be extremely expensive and impractical on two levels. One, incremental overnight electricity will be coming from fossil fuel-based generation in most jurisdictions. Two, as will be discussed in the Community Resilience Pathway, the economic burden to operate and maintain legacy assets will fall disproportionately on low-income customers.