Joseph Daniel

Senior Energy Analyst

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Joseph Daniel is a senior energy analyst with the Climate & Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. In his role, he establishes policy positions, develops strategy, and produces analytics that spur innovation in energy markets to facilitate the transition to a modern electricity grid that is clean, affordable, flexible, and reliable. See Joseph's full bio.

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The Coal Bailout Everybody Is Talking About

Our new UCS report, Used but How Useful, How Electric Utilities Exploit Loopholes, Forcing Customers to Bail Out Uneconomic Coal-Fired Power Plants, found that utilities across 15 states in the heart of the U.S. exploited power market loopholes, costing customers $350 million in 2018. Read more >

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Crisis Vultures Are Circling Over the Energy Industry

Disaster capitalism exists. I know that. And the thing is, I don’t object to making money, even during a crisis. You shorted the oil market and made a killing when demand collapsed? No objections here. Invested in Peloton because you knew people would want to work out from home? Good for you.

What differentiates those hypotheticals from what I call “Crisis Vultures” is that Crisis Vultures are using the fog of COVID to avoid scrutiny as they push their unethical agendas. Read more >

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Electricity Shut-Offs in a Pandemic: How COVID-19 Leads to Energy Insecurity, Burdensome Bills

I have asthma. It’s a private piece of medical information that I don’t normally share with people, but it makes the potential risks associated with exposure to the coronavirus all the more dangerous for me. But I’m not alone. 107 million people in the U.S. have pre-existing medical conditions like asthma and heart disease; the same pre-existing conditions that elevate their risk of facing a life-threatening situation were we to contract COVID-19. There are, however, tens of millions more house-bound Americans with a condition that is likely to be exacerbated by COVID-19: The energy burden.

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The Real Reason Behind Coal’s Cycling Woes

Integrating renewables into the current mix of resources sure does get a lot of attention these days. Sadly, the issue has been thrown up as an unnecessary barrier to the development of wind and solar. One of the most pervasive arguments I’ve heard suggests integrating variable resources (like wind and solar) is costly and sometimes physically impossible. But data recently analyzed by UCS adds to the growing body of work that undercuts such arguments. Read more >

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Brayton Point coal plant Credit: Mr. Ducke (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dippy_duck/)

Coal Is No Longer a Baseload Resource, So Why Run Plants All Year?

Today’s energy experts are increasingly questioning the validity of the generations-old way of thinking about our electric grid that says coal is needed as a baseload power resource year-round. “Baseload resources” are the generators that are thought of as providing a constant stream of electric power year-round. At its simplest level, energy wonks tend to fall in one of two camps:

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Synapse Energy Economics
Sierra Club + UCS
EIA
UCS
EIA
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