The Charging Station - Issue 13

Keeping it brief: 2 minutes 52 seconds, 718 words

Hi friends,

Welcome to a new year and a new decade. Let’s dive into this week’s most interesting news and opinions in energy.


It’s a slightly different data-driven section this week, I published a series of 5 trends in energy that began in the last decade and are likely to have a large impact on the next one. The first tweet in the series is below:

Our Latest Post

Outsourcing Pollution - It’s looking more likely that by the end of the decade we’ll see some form of carbon or emissions tax come into existence. We should see emissions tracking and transparency become big business.

A recent study by researchers at Stanford reveals the levels to which pollution related to power generation is being outsourced and highlights the discrepancies in consumption and generation as it relates to global and local emissions.

I take a look at the study, its significance, and inside you’ll find a surprising stat about one of the country’s most progressive states when it comes to renewable energy.

Previous Post: A Global Green New Deal

Deep Dives

New FERC Ruling Deals a Blow to Renewables - Two weeks ago, FERC ruled that PJM must rework its minimum operating price rule (MOPR) to require nearly all state-subsidized (deemed “out of market” participation) power resources to hit a price floor before participating in PJM’s forward-looking capacity auctions after complaints from existing generation owners. (Ars Technica)

TCS Analysis: A rehearing is likely, but there are two major issues in play:

1) a state’s rights to subsidize the type of energy generation it wants for its citizens and

2) the rules by which markets can operate to incentivize or accelerate an energy transition.

PJM has 90 days to rework its current MOPR structure, but if the purposed FERC guidelines stick the already slow energy transition in the Midwest will lag even further behind the rest of the country, an important note given that PJM is the largest RTO in the country.

Worst Case for Climate Change Doesn’t Look Realistic - More rational climate scenarios don’t give any excuse for complacency. But they do give human civilization a fighting chance. (Bloomberg)

TCS Analysis: The internet is not usually a place where you find people debating in the “grey” area, but this piece by Noah Smith does just that. He makes the case that an energy transition is going to happen with the help of capitalistic forces - banks are pulling away from coal and natural gas because they don’t make economic sense, wind and solar produce cheaper power, etc.. In the first week of 2020, I’ve seen a lot of arguing between solution fetishists who think that only policy or only innovation can solve the problem. The fact is, we likely need both. Capitalism might do it, but it takes too long and policy could help accelerate the process.

Switched Off

This week’s non-energy related read. 

My Advice to Perspective Bloggers - Do you ever aspire to be a blogger? A podcaster? A Youtube star? Whatever content you plan on producing in 2020 and beyond, I am going to give you the best advice I can to get you started. (Of Dollars and Data)

TCS: This one hit close to home. I love producing content because it helps me think and grow as a communicator. Hopefully, along the way, I write something that helps someone else, but I still aspire to build an engaged community around a sector that I see as exciting and vital to our future economy. Thank you all for being part of it.

This newsletter is our side-hustle. We hope it equips you with data and insights on the energy sector to inform your decision-making process in the best way possible. If you have feedback, let us know!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

The Charging Station

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