A Modern Power Grid

CMI is working to facilitate accelerated deployment of clean energy by addressing market barriers that inhibit investment in enabling technologies essential to low cost integration of variable energy resources. Enhanced grid flexibility could greatly accelerate the adoption of renewable energy by reducing the cost of reliably integrating these sources of generation into the electricity supply.

Toward that end, CMI is helping to promote market design principles and improved regulatory treatment for energy storage, demand response and high voltage transmission lines that will help facilitate the adoption of clean energy. Furthermore, we are helping to promote infrastructure planning practices aimed at targeting the lowest cost integration options and accelerating investment in technologies that can enable rapid grid decarbonization.

Renewables Roundtables

The Premise

Renewable deployment continues to be inadequate, suffering from a number of impediments. In the absence of meaningful federal and -- with only a few exceptions -- state policies, CMI believes that direct engagement with business bears the most promise. In the context of the challenging policy and regulatory environment, we need to pick our initiatives carefully.

Siting and permitting of renewable projects is a topic that has been repeatedly identified as critical to scaling up renewables, and one where CMI, together with our colleagues at NRDC, can have a meaningful and current impact.

The Initiative

In this context, CMI conducted one international and five domestic roundtables in 2010 and 2011, inviting a range of stakeholders from the financial sector as well as legal and other relevant communities.

The spectrum of hurdles identified ranged from the largely exogenous to the renewable sector (e.g., the price of natural gas) to ones to do with policy and progressive regulation, or lack thereof. And our premise of siting as a hurdle was validated by virtually every player.

As a result, CMI, together with our colleagues at NRDC, will take the lead in organizing a siting roundtable in the fall of 2011, inviting senior representatives from the industry alongside key regulatory and NGO stakeholders. The aim will be to accelerate the transformation of the siting process from one which is lengthy, unpredictable, fragmented and open to litigation toward one that benefits from an agreed-upon set of principles and where both industry and financiers have good visibility on timing and success of the overall process.

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