Quantcast

Major Federal Court Ruling Will Help Transition Grid to Renewables

Business

On Friday the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Order No. 1000, which eliminates many obstacles in the way of modernizing the electrical transmission grid.

D.C. appeals court uphold a federal order mandating more competition and coordination in the electricity transmission grid.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

More than 40 states, industry groups,and utility companies had filed the challenge to the order saying that the federal government had overstepped its authority. But environmental groups came to its defense, since the order not only brings order and economic savings to grid construction and upgrades but eases the move from fossil fuels to clean energy sources. The groups, represented by Earthjustice and Natural Resources Defense Fund, include Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Conservation Law Foundation and Union for Concerned Scientists.

Order 1000 creates requirements for regional planning and cooperation between the owners of transmission companies on the funding of new investments in the grid to make upgrades more efficient and economical. It also opened the door to new entrants into the arena of building and owning transmission facilities by eliminating existing  companies' rights of first refusal.  As with the unbundling of electric generation and transmission starting in the ’90s, which opened generation to new companies, the order increases competitiveness on the transmission side. Among other things, this would help guarantee that the infrastructure exists to meet states' clean energy mandates.

Earthjustice attorney Abigail Dillen said:

“We are thrilled that the court validated these crucial reforms that will help us build the 21st-century clean energy grid. We have an aging grid that needs billions of dollars worth of renovations and the question is how that money will be spent—on the smart grid technology that can hasten reliance on more clean energy or on masking tape and chewing gum solutions that keep us wedded to fossil fuels.  With the Obama administration’s newly announced Clean Power Plan, we must undertake transparent, forward-looking regional transmission planning to ensure we have the infrastructure in place to meet state clean energy mandates.”

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE

Bipartisan Governors Coalition Wants to Prepare Nation’s Grid For More Wind Energy

Is the U.S. Electric Grid Ready for a Renewable Energy Future?

ALEC Attacks Ohio Renewable Energy Standard, Local Newspapers Fail to Show Fossil Fuel Connection

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Logging state in the U.S. is seen representing some of the consequences humans will face in the absence of concrete action to stop deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. Mark Newman / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Talk is cheap, says the acting executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who begged governments around the world to make sure that 2020 is not another year of conferences and empty promises, but instead is the year to take decisive action to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and the destruction of habitat-sustaining ecosystems, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
The people of Kiribati have been under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. A young woman wades through the salty sea water that flooded her way home on Sept. 29, 2015. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

Refugees fleeing the impending effects of the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home, according to a new decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as CNN reported. The new decision could open up a massive wave of legal claims by displaced people around the world.

Read More
Sponsored
The first day of the Strike WEF march on Davos on Jan. 18, 2020 near Davos, Switzerland. The activists want climate justice and think the WEF is for the world's richest and political elite only. Kristian Buus / In Pictures via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is returning to the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the 2020 World Economic Forum with a strong and clear message: put an end to the fossil fuel "madness."

Read More
Protesters attend a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court held by the group Our Children's Trust Oct. 29, 2018 in Washington, DC. The group and the plaintiffs have vowed to keep fighting and to ask the full Ninth Circuit to review Friday's decision to toss the lawsuit. Win McNamee / Getty Images

An appeals court tossed out the landmark youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States Friday, arguing that the courts are not the place to resolve the climate crisis.

Read More
The land around Red Knoll near Kanab, UT that could have been razed for a frac sand mine. Tara Lohan

By Tara Lohan

A sign at the north end of Kanab, Utah, proclaims the town of 4,300 to be "The Greatest Earth on Show."

Read More