Apr 29, 2019
This episode is a graduate-level course on tracking renewable energy from generation to the end user, and the complexities of how policies, processes and markets all interact. My guest is Ben Gerber, the Executive Director of M-RETS, the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System based in Minneapolis. And this episode is a first for this podcast as I invite a guest co-host to join me—Tanuj Deora, Vice President of Market Development at Simple Energy. Tanuj is well known in clean energy circles – among his many previous roles he’s served as the Director of the Colorado Energy Office and more recently as EVP at SEPA, the Smart Electric Power Alliance, a role in which he’s been a guest on this podcast before.
Ben, Tanuj and I start our conversation with the basics – what is MRETS and what does it do, and how do Renewable Energy Certificates, or RECs, work? We look at how the REC market landscape has been changing for both buyers and sellers, and we get into the debate that’s been happening within the REC community about the value of RECs and if they’ve outlived their usefulness. Tanuj and Ben square off about questions of additionality and look at the extent to which REC policies provide a necessary market incentive to build new renewable generation or whether they can serve as a disincentive in some scenarios.
From there we look at the applicability of tracking systems to other sectors such as energy efficiency and energy storage. Then we look more broadly at the implications of RECs for decarbonization, and specifically at how advances in the technology and different market and policy approaches can support meaningful climate action. And we close our conversation with a look at renewable natural gas.
We recorded this episode in back in February when Ben was in DC to speak at NARUC’s annual Winter Policy Conference. Though the conversation is a couple months old now, it has aged well aside from Tanuj’s gloating about the Patriots winning the Super Bowl.
Show references include:
Recorded February 10, 2019. Published April 29, 2019.
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