Oct 23, 2017

Trump’s electricity shakeup

Today marks the starting gun in a battle for market share over America's stagnant electricity mix. Seeking to follow through on President Trump's campaign promises to revive coal and nuclear power, the Energy Department is asking an independent federal agency to issue a rule that would help those two fuel types. The stated aim is to ensure the electric grid is resilient to power outages and other vulnerabilities.

We've created a card deck to get you up to speed fast on how each fuel type is poised to gain — or lose — under the proposed changes.

Gritty details: The Energy Department's proposed rule would allow power plants operating in competitive markets, which make up more than half of the United States, to recover costs if they have 90 days worth of fuel on site.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Agency is requesting comments to that proposed rule be submitted by today. Groups representing most energy types other than coal and nuclear power are worried, because it could erode their otherwise growing market shares and upend the power market as it's known today. FERC makes the final decision, and its commissioners have expressed caution about following through with the rule.

What's next: The Energy Department has asked FERC to make a decision after 15 days, but many don't expect the independent agency to act that fast.

Read more: Check out this Axios slide deck breaking down the market share for each electricity source.

Go deeper

Trump administration to roll back Bush-era light bulb standards

Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Trump administration announced plans on Friday to block a George W. Bush-era rule intended to mandate Americans use energy-efficient general purpose light bulbs.

Details: The rule was required by legislation passed in 2007, and would have gone into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, per the New York Times. It required the majority of bulbs sold in the U.S. be LED or fluorescent.

Go deeperArrowDec 21, 2019

Big Tech data centers probably aren't a climate change time bomb

Data: Reproduced from an International Energy Agency report; Chart: Axios Visuals

An International Energy Agency analysis pushes back against concerns that data centers are a ticking carbon bomb as use of web-connected devices expands.

Where it stands: Power use by data centers consumes about 1% of global power (which isn't trivial in a world of still-rising emissions) and has changed little since 2015, they report.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020

DOE looks to unlock energy storage advances

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Energy Department hopes to better leverage department-wide expertise to spur advances in energy storage, drive them into the market and ensure U.S. industry reaps the benefits.

Why it matters: Storage improvements are important for bringing high levels of renewables onto power grids and improving the performance and cost-competitiveness of electric vehicles, among other benefits.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020