This group brings together the best thinkers on energy and climate. Join us for smart, insightful posts and conversations about where the energy industry is and where it is going.

Publication

Public policy spillovers from private energy governance: new opportunities for the political acceleration of renewable transitions

Zdravka Tzankova's picture
Associate Professor NTT Vanderbilt University

Zdravka (Zee) Tzankova is an Associate Professor of Environmental Sociology & Public Policy at Vanderbilt, and an affiliated faculty at the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and the Environment...

  • Member since 2020
  • 2 items added with 2,223 views
  • Sep 10, 2020
  • 2223 views

Access Publication

Focused on a particular facet of private climate and energy governance – corporate demand for and procurement of carbon-free electricity from renewable sources – this study uncovers a new set of opportunities for the political acceleration of energy transitions. In seeking to understand the grid-greening impacts of corporate renewable procurement and demand, the study reveals that private energy and electricity governance can actually serve to alter the politics of energy transitions. Specifically, the analysis presented in this paper shows that public-private governance interactions can destabilize the politics of carbon lock-in by expanding coalitions for decarbonization and triggering positive private-public regulatory feedbacks. Grounded in the empirical context of the US electricity sector – a dynamic site of coexistence and interaction between public and private energy governance, the research and analysis presented in this paper show that business engagement in private, market-driven greening of the electricity sector can advance renewable transition both directly, through buyer-driven increases in renewable generation capacity; and indirectly, through turning corporate renewable buyers into the beneficiaries and supporters of public policy and regulatory action that advances decarbonization.

Zdravka Tzankova's picture
Thank Zdravka for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member
Discussions
Spell checking: Press the CTRL or COMMAND key then click on the underlined misspelled word.
Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 10, 2020

What an interesting topic, Zdravka. The U.S. grid of course has to deal with its market setup across states with national oversight such as from FERC and other patchwork policies. Do you think that becomes a detriment in the end compared with other nations that are more straightforward with energy sector governance? 

Zdravka Tzankova's picture
Zdravka Tzankova on Sep 11, 2020

Yes – and my article does include some discussion on the renewable procurement obstacles associated with the current US electricity market set-up – obstacles that can be particularly salient for corporate renewable buyers seeking to power their operations from renewable capacity specifically added in response to their clean power demand; getting competitively priced renewable electricity with additionality attributes, that is, can be challenging for many companies with facilities and operations in regulated electricity markets that are dominated by renewables-reluctant monopoly utilities.

So we do have electricity market obstacles to corporate renewable procurement, and partial work-arounds like VPPAs (Virtual Power Purchase Agreements) do remain beyond the reach of many companies – my research identifies these factors as important drivers of corporate engagement in several types of pro-renewables policy and regulatory advocacy – including business advocacy for policy and regulatory changes that facilitate corporate renewable procurement, and business advocacy in favor of broader grid-greening and renewable-market-promoting policies, such as higher state RPS and stricter regulatory controls on utility planning. Brief examples on some of the pro-renewables policies supported by corporate renewable buyers can be found in Table 3 of my related paper. Hope this is useful!

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 11, 2020

Thanks for the follow up, Zdravka, and for the detailed answer. That's extremely helpful!

 

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »