ERM Observations and Insights from EUEC 2016
14 March 2016
Nearly 2,000 professionals gathered in early February at EUEC 2016, the Energy, Utility and Environment Conference and Expo, to exchange ideas, and discuss current and critical energy, environmental, and climate change issues.
EUEC is the largest conference of its kind in the United States and is a key platform for the power industry to meet, share information on the challenges facing the industry, and discuss solutions for advancing our nation’s energy future. ERM is proud to have been part of the fabric of EUEC for many years.
One characteristic of EUEC 2016 that was markedly different from past conferences was the growing interest and positioning of renewable energy as the future. Regardless of the outcome of the ongoing dispute now taking place in the Courts surrounding the Clean Power Plan, renewables have reached the tipping point. As of 2014, nearly one-third of US power generation comes from zero emissions sources while CO2 emissions have decreased 15% since 2005. Market forces will continue this trend into the future.
The regulatory challenges the power generation industry continues to face show no sign of relenting and, as usual, the Clean Air Act presents more than its fair share of challenges to traditional electric generating units. The Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), EPA changes to long-established dispersion modeling protocols, Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the Cross States Air Pollution Rule, Greenhouse Gas Regulation and the 1-hour SO2 NAAQS continue to garner attention. Coupled with the underlying disruption in the sector as distributed generation continues to grow and new business models evolve, it is clear that the power sector faces unprecedented challenges as it charts its future.
ERM contributed thought leadership at EUEC 2016 on a number of key themes that are creating challenges for our clients. ERM leaders spoke about the complexity of the regulatory regime facing the industry and the need for regulatory clarity. We addressed critical air permitting and modeling issues, and, as always, advocated for improving the permitting and regulatory process.
Read ERM's top line view of the key themes and observations from EUEC 2016