The Mid-Atlantic region (Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia) is currently at the forefront of discussions regarding the next generation of distributed electricity markets. Notable developments pushing the region into the spotlight recently include M&A activity, creativity on the part of public service commissions, local innovations in PACE finance, and increasing flexibility on the part of local utilities.
Topics: Water Energy Nexus, Utilities, Water, Carbon Emissions, Energy Security, Thermal Generation, Energy Policy, M&A, Structured Transactions & Tax, Energy Storage, Energy Efficiency, Power Generation, Microgrid, Energy Finance, Distributed Energy, Energy Management, Solar Energy, Renewable Energy, Wind, Oil & Gas
Particularly in the West, hydropower long has provided a significant portion of the energy required to meet the needs of a growing population. Increasingly, however, the circumstances that led to the dominant role played by hydropower generation in providing nearly boundless energy supplies in many parts of the country are changing. Factors that were not known about or anticipated in the decades when much of our existing hydropower infrastructure was constructed are creating challenges both to the long-term reliability and continued cost-effectiveness of traditional hydropower. Climate change and other factors are predicted to alter both the timing and pattern of precipitation and associated runoff that largely determines the availability and amount of hydropower.
In an era conscious of water scarcity, the water-energy nexus made the agenda of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, which is considering broad based, bi-partisan legislation, the “Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015.” The nexus between water and energy refers generally to the fact that the provision of water and wastewater services tends to be highly energy intensive, while most types of power generation tend to be highly water intensive.
As part of our series on the water/energy nexus, this post discusses the need to include a water supply availability assessment as part of energy project due diligence and facility siting reviews. The post identifies the principal considerations that come into play when conducting water security due diligence.
The deployment of the next generation of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency initiatives is occurring in conjunction with the recent push in many parts of the country facing potential water shortages to invest in new or improved water and wastewater infrastructure projects. This post is the third in our series on the challenges posed by the “water/energy nexus” and how water and wastewater utilities are responding to those challenges. As discussed in more detail in our prior posts, linked Part I and Part II, the term “water/energy nexus” refers generally to the interdependence between the water/wastewater and energy sectors of the economy. Because water and wastewater utilities use massive amounts of electricity, many utilities are looking for ways to off-set their power consumption through the adoption of new renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency approaches that hold the promise of significantly improving the economic performance of the utilities. This, in turn, can improve the investment profile of the utilities, and provide new opportunities for funding needed expansions or upgrades of water/wastewater infrastructure. The following represent options for utilities, cities and policymakers considering managing water-energy-nexus issues.
This post is the second in our series on the challenges posed by the “water/energy nexus” and how water and wastewater utilities are responding to those challenges. As discussed in more detail in our prior post, the term “water/energy nexus” refers generally to the interdependence between the water/wastewater and energy sectors of the economy. Discussed in this post is the impact of emerging energy recovery and energy efficiency technologies on new infrastructure development by water and wastewater utilities.