In February, the Council hosted a forum on diversity, equity, and inclusion in its power planning and in its 2021 Power Plan. The forum – with 130 attendees – builds on past work in the Council’s advisory committees to address underserved communities and marked a step forward in ensuring equity in our energy planning.
Reducing carbon will transform the power system
In the Pacific Northwest, the system’s carbon emissions are directly connected to the hydro system. In a good hydro year, emissions are lower as less natural gas and coal are dispatched and conversely, emissions tend to be higher in poor hydro years as fossil fuel resources are dispatched more often.
Flat load growth continues and on site solar takes off.
Four decades ago, legislators and policymakers in the Pacific Northwest took a revolutionary leap of faith, writing a law that changed the direction of the region's energy future and made fish and wildlife co-equal with other purposes of hydropower dams in the Columbia River Basin.
Throughout the West, retiring coal plants and a plethora of clean energy policies in states, municipalities, and utilities have changed how electricity markets function, adding even more uncertainty to an already challenging enterprise: forecasting the future.
Could the Northwest experience rolling blackouts? “Yes,” says John Fazio, senior power systems analyst. “And it almost happened in 2001.”
The 2019 accomplishments bring the total energy efficiency improvements in the Northwest since 1978, when efficiency programs began, to 7,000 average megawatts. That's more than twice the annual output of Grand Coulee Dam.
At the Council’s August power committee meeting, John Ollis presented the preliminary findings of the Council’s wholesale electricity price forecast. The forecast is used in developing the Council’s resource strategy for its regional power plan.
Five years of research shows the warming climate is causing glaciers to retreat. There are implications for the Columbia River water supply.