Joseph Daniel

Senior Energy Analyst

Author image
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.

Subscribe to Joseph's posts

Joseph's Latest Posts

The Rush to Overbuild Gas-Fired Power

Carbon dioxide emissions rose in 2018, breaking a 3-year streak of year-on-year CO2 emission reductions. While many factors played a role in the emission increase, it was the country’s overreliance on natural gas-fired power plants that was the ultimate culprit for the uptick in 2018 electric sector emissions.

Looking forward, the latest data from a federal agency suggests that the electricity industry’s troubling trend to overbuild gas-fired power plants is only getting worse.

Read more >

UCS
Synapse Energy Economics
Bookmark and Share

Photo: Tonyglen14/Flickr

6 Utility Trends to Look Out For in 2019

The electric utility industry is abuzz with terms like blockchain and hosting capacity analysis. While the industry is certainly likely to hear more about these topics in the coming year, applications will likely be isolated to a few states in 2019. The sector is undergoing change and we can expect a few larger, national trends to manifest. From changes in the resource mix to federal shakeups, here are six electricity trends to keep an eye on in 2019: Read more >

Bookmark and Share

What’s Hiding in Your Electric Bill? How Utility Customers Finance Risky Investments

Utilities are expected to make investments that are prudent and in the public interest; in return, they get to recover those costs plus a profit. All the utility investments, operating costs, and profits get pooled together and are reflected in customer utility bills. Expenditures that aren’t “prudent” and “in the public interest” (two key terms in the industry) don’t get to be recovered. But many utilities have found a way to get around guidelines and force customers to finance fossil fuel infrastructure, lobbying, and power plants that aren’t even built yet. Read more >

Bookmark and Share

Photo: Tikilucas/Wikimedia Commons

Seasonal Shutdowns: How Coal Plants That Operate Less Can Save Customers Money

There is a growing trend amongst coal plant operators: save customers money by switching to seasonal operation and operating less. Operators can secure those savings for customers because other resources (like wind, solar and other resources) are often available at lower cost. Reduced operations also translate to reduced emissions.

Read more >

Photo: Tikilucas/Wikimedia Commons
Bookmark and Share

Photo: Xcel Energy Center

Xcel Commits to 100% Carbon Free Energy. Why is this a big deal? How will they do it?

A 100-plus-year-old company became the first major US utility to target 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. The company, Xcel Energy, serves millions of customers across eight states. The company’s announcement builds on previous goals to reduce carbon emissions. But setting an ambitious goal is one thing; implementing it can be tricky.

Read more >

Photo: Xcel Energy Center
Xcel
Bookmark and Share