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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Joseph's Latest Posts

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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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 >

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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 >

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