Posted to Energy Central in the Utility Management Group
Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

  • Member since 2018
  • 11,026 items added with 1,562,582 views
  • Oct 25, 2021

This upcoming Sunday is going to be Halloween, so it's traditional to gather around and share spooky stories. Let's do the same, but with the Energy Central tilt. 

What 'scares' you the most these days as a utility professional?

  • Grid outages?
  • Customer care shortfalls?
  • Uncertainty in public policies?

What goes bump in the night that keeps you, the dedicated energy professional, awake??

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The planned early shutdown of so many zero-carbon emissions nuclear power plants well before there is replacement (of any type, much less "green") for that dispatchable base load power.  The power price and availability shock caused by this foolish, anti-science policy could dwarf the economic impact we saw from the OPEC-induced oil price shock in the 1970's. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is ignoring this issue in favor of more generously subsidizing electric vehicles, but here is a systemic issue where US federal leadership is sorely needed. 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 28, 2021

Do you foresee that leadership coming? It hasn't seemed to be a major part of the past few months of negotiations on the Infrastructure Bill

In late 2020,  electric and gas utilities had $32,000,000,000 in arrears, with up to 20% of homes behind payments.


Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 26, 2021

This is a big one, and whenever it comes up it seems like there aren't any straightforward or best case solutions. Where do we go with this? 

Patrick McGarry's picture
Patrick McGarry on Oct 26, 2021

Its complicated. I think we are clearly headed to a "Time Of Use" rate redesign to incent people to conserve energy. But the longer the issue persists, we run the risk of creating a moral hazard where some people may assume electricity is free. But we also run the same risk for all aid packages during a lengthy pandemic. I truly believe this will take a coordinated response which considers many stakeholders. It cant be free but we cant let people freeze or be without air condition either. There are ethical plus financial considerations needed to solve the problem.