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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Image courtesy of Alliance for Affordable Energy

This Crazy Trick Could Help New Orleans Utility Customers Save Money

Over the past year or so, a lot of states with renewable portfolio standards (RPS) have opted to double down on that policy mechanism to set a path to 100% clean electricity. However, most jurisdictions in the deep south have been reticent to pass such policies. That might change later this year, as the City of New Orleans considers passing an RPS. And that’s the crazy trick that could save customers money. Passing an RPS.

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Image courtesy of Alliance for Affordable Energy
EQ Research, DSIRE Database
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Xcel Energy's Sherco Generating Station Coal Power Plant Photo: Tony Webster/Wikimedia Commons

The Billion-Dollar Coal Bailout Nobody Is Talking About: Self-Committing In Power Markets

Nearly two-thirds of the United States’ power plants operate in competitive wholesale markets.  Market rules typically prescribe that only the cheapest set of resources may run—nowadays, those are often renewable energy resources. Despite a growing trend of coal losing on cost to renewables and natural gas, coal generation remains a dominant player in many of these markets. Read more >

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Self-Scheduling: How Inflexible Coal is Breaking Energy Markets

Over the past year, I have looked at the hourly operations of over one-third of the coal fleet in the US and have come to a startling conclusion: Each and every one of the coal units I have investigated have been uneconomic for at least one month. That is, the costs to operate them in a given month exceeded the revenues they earned in the energy market that same month.

Financially, most (if not all) of these coal plants would have been better off turning off.

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The Energy Burden: How Bad is it and How to Make it Less Bad.

Everybody wants affordable energy. Energy consumers want to be able to pay their bills and energy providers also want customers to be able to pay their energy bills. What we can’t seem to agree on is how to best measure energy affordability.

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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.

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UCS
Synapse Energy Economics
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