Policy Landscape for More Electrified Economy


Electrification 2020 Track F

Fortnightly Magazine - February 10 2020

At Electrification 2020 an EPRI expert will help explain the technical and scientific research that EPRI conducts to those who often consider themselves non-technical audiences, with audience discourse included. That's because one of the five sessions in Track F, on the policy landscape in a more electrified economy, will allow the audience to discuss with the panel policy challenges and opportunities for a more electrified economy. Policy and regulatory decision making are the touchstone for decarbonization, and EPRI will foster informative and engaging talks on some of the most pressing issues facing the industry. 

PUF: You have an interesting role at EPRI, so before we get to talking about Electrification 2020, what do you do there?

Deana Dennis: I support EPRI's outreach to state regulatory and government stakeholders including Public Utility Commissions, state energy offices, Governors, state legislatures and Consumer Advocates. I help explain the technical and scientific research that EPRI conducts to non-technical audiences, enabling them to be better informed on issues impacting the electricity sector.

PUF: Why should all these folks be looking forward to going to Electrification 2020 in April?

Deana Dennis: This April in Charlotte, we will convene global experts, policymakers, and other key stakeholders to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with electrification from a regulatory and policy lens.

EPRI is uniquely suited to convene this international gathering of stakeholders because we are a non-policy advocacy organization. We simply want to convene a robust dialogue about the future of end-use energy and the potential role that efficient electrification can play to achieve myriad objectives and benefit consumers. A dialogue that's informed by scientific research and facts. That's really where EPRI can lend its expertise.

PUF: Track F, which is on the policy landscape in a more electrified economy, what's it going to be like?

Deana Dennis: Globally, there's been a lot of policy and regulatory activity on decarbonization, end-use energy, and the role electrification could play in supporting decarbonization. We aim to foster an informative and engaging discussion on some of the most pressing issues facing the industry. 

Throughout the track, we'll be addressing affordability and equity, customer choice, sustainability, resiliency, and how electrification can support all of these outcomes while maximizing the benefit for all. 

PUF: Who's going to be in these sessions?

Deana Dennis: Electrification 2018 in Long Beach attracted more than two hundred attendees for each of the five policy track sessions. It was one of the most widely attended tracks there. 

For the Charlotte event, panelists and attendees will come from the organizations that are making policy decisions such as state Public Service Commissions, legislators, state energy offices, local and federal government agencies, in addition to other key stakeholders including utilities, environmental organizations, consumer advocates, technology and service providers, and manufacturers.

PUF: If you're with a Public Utility Commission or are a legislator, why should you want to go to Electrification 2020?

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Deana Dennis: Whether you're a Commissioner, a legislator, or Staff, attending Electrification 2020 will offer the opportunity to learn more about efficient electrification technologies that could support positive outcomes for customers, the environment, and the electric power grid.

You'll also get a chance to see many of these technologies - ranging from indoor agriculture to next-generation electric heat pumps to heavy-duty long-haul electric vehicles - demonstrated on the exhibit floor.

Finally, I'd like to add that EPRI is offering complimentary registration for all state Commissions, state and local government agency staff, and legislators.

PUF: You're going to be a very busy person when you get to Charlotte for the conference. What are you thinking you'll do there, if you even have a chance to take a breath?

Deana Dennis: Highly unlikely that I'll have much downtime in Charlotte. I'm most looking forward to facilitating connections among the Track F panelists and attendees. Witnessing those a-ha moments when some great ideas are exchanged. And meeting with Commissioners, Consumer Advocates, legislators, and their Staff at breaks to guide them through some of the highlights on the exhibit floor and increase their understanding of the important research that EPRI is doing.

PUF: What will you be looking for, to see and to hear, and to learn about when you go there?

Deana Dennis: In Long Beach, one item of feedback we received was that there was not enough time for visiting the exhibition. This year, we will be opening the exhibition a day early to give attendees more time to explore and network. 

From a substantive standpoint, there were four critical themes from Long Beach and our three U.S. Regional Electrification Symposia last summer (Berkeley, Brooklyn, and San Antonio) that stood out that I hope are discussed further in Charlotte. Those were: electrification's role in supporting decarbonization; equity and the idea of starting with under-served and under-invested areas; the need for a value on flexible demand; and how to reconcile energy efficiency across different fuel types.

I hope that attendees leave the conference with additional insight to these questions and more to help them be better leaders for their state and for the consumers that they serve.

Track F: A Policy Landscape for a More Electrified Economy

Session F1: Policy Challenges and Opportunities for a More Electrified Economy

This panel will discuss three challenges and opportunities for efficient electrification from a policy lens: affordability, customer choice, and a changing workforce. Discuss with our panel the policies and other ideas that could create the largest societal benefit from electrification while supporting vulnerable constituents and impacted workers.

Session F2: Electrified, Connected and Shared: Planning for a Sustainable Transportation Future

Signposts and trends point to a transportation future that will be increasingly electrified, connected, and shared. This session will explore the many policy and planning considerations that could shape a more electrified transportation system that is sustainable, equitable, and resilient.

Session F3: Capturing the Full Benefits and Costs of Electrification

Efficient electrification technologies will require new cost-effectiveness tests to fully capture their benefits. This session aims to better understand what benefits and costs are important when evaluating efficient electrification technologies; what policy tools could maximize their benefit to the environment and to the consumer; and what fuel-agnostic approaches are suitable for characterizing these technologies.

Session F4: Realizing the Full Value of Flexible Electric Loads

This session will explore policy and pricing mechanisms that could leverage the full value of electrification technologies in a way that contributes to a sustainable, resilient, and affordable grid. Panelists will also discuss opportunities for increased efficiencies between wholesale and retail markets including what actions could be incentivized to support grid flexibility.

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Session F5: Role of Electrification in Meeting Customer and Community Sustainability Goals

Customers and communities are leading the charge when it comes to increasing their adoption of clean energy and electrification technologies to support their sustainability goals, reduce costs, and improve the health, safety, productivity, and convenience of their constituents. This panel will feature case studies of customers and communities who invested in electrification programs to meet sustainability goals and will share insights on the role of policy and regulation in realizing the full value of their investments.


Conversations about Electrification 2020 Tracks: