DELUREY: DR, smart grid arrive in CO2 discussions

Omitted from plans at first, EPA responds to ADS pleas

Smart Grid Today
August 18, 2020


DR and smart grid technologies can be used in clever ways to address CO2 emissions but were left out of EPA's proposed compliance measures released in in June to be used as guidelines to help states create plans to comply with the Clean Air Act's section 111(d), which governs emissions from about 1,500 existing US power plants, Assn for DR & Smart Grid (ADS) President Dan Delurey told us in June (SGT, June-4). But EPA has since then met with Delurey and started trying to help educate states about the benefits available from running a more efficient, automated grid, he told us last week in an exclusive interview.

"When people think of CO2 emissions strategies, they naturally think of traditional energy efficiency, which is mostly about more efficient devices. They think about renewables but they're not thinking about demand response and smart grid," Delurey noted last week.

The CO2 proposal gave states lots of flexibility in how to approach compliance but a majority of the state's draft plans were heavily focused on traditional energy efficiency, which was defined mostly by end use, he added.

"So EPA was not saying that you couldn't use other types of efficiency, but it sure looked like that's what it was saying," Delurey said.

At NARUC's summer conference, many commissioners seemed to believe they were able to use only what was specifically mentioned in the EPA's draft regulations, and discussions of smart grid and DR were not present, Delurey reported. "It's been challenging to get people to think of DR and smart grid and energy efficiency to blend together into an efficient whole," he added.

"We're trying to get people to connect the dots between smart grid and climate change."

National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) called limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants the single most important step the nation can take to bring down greenhouse gas levels. Each year, US power plants emit about 2.2 billion tons of CO2, which represents about 40% of the nation's total emissions.

ADS spoke with the EPA, the power generation industry and other stakeholders to get them to look at other areas that could be targets for cuts, and to get involved parties to expand their thinking, Delurey said. The group stressed "using demand response not just for peak but for new-era energy management," he added.

By automating the grid, "you're optimizing the way electricity is switched and you're wringing out savings by how electricity is delivered and not just how it's used and generated." The challenge is to get stakeholders to think about efficiency, DR and smart grid not as different things but part of a spectrum with an overall goal of "optimization."

Delurey wants that word used to describe the goal.

EPA speaks out

"EPA has thankfully begun to speak out and clarify that DR and smart grid are things that a state can consider for its compliance plan for 111(d)," Delurey said. "It was important to the DR and smart grid industry to get that clarification early.

"That doesn't mean the job is over. We still have to provide information and in some cases… case studies that we can show the states to demonstrate not just conceptually, but quantitatively, what DR and smart grid can contribute." The states have some very specific reduction goals to hit and state efforts are critical to achieving the overall goal, he added.

Summit planned in DC

ADS is sponsoring an event at the end of the year titled, "The National Summit on Smart Grid & Climate Change," Dec 2-3 in Washington, DC, to demo how smart grid technologies and DR are critical to compliance planning for 111(d) regulations. The summit will be held in a "national town meeting" format and will feature roundtable discussion sessions with leaders in both business and government who will discuss smart grid, emissions and compliance issues with one another and attendees, Delurey said.

"We're seeing that utilities are starting to focus on something they call 'grid hardening. What's unfortunately happening is that 'grid hardening' is being done without 'grid smartening' being addressed at the same time," he added.

© 2014 Modern Markets Intelligence, Inc. IMPORTANT: This article was reproduced from the August 18, 2020 issue of Smart Grid Today with the limited permission of the owner. To view the full story on Smart Grid Today’s website, please visit

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