Electricity procurement challenges require anything but one-size-fits-all solutions. Diverse regions and organizations confront unique hurdles as they work toward meeting energy objectives while maintaining reliability. At the Ascend Summit 2023, Anthony Boukarim, Senior Manager of Resource Planning and Valuation at Ascend Analytics, moderated a panel on power procurement trends and future expectations that featured perspectives from three industry experts: Andrea Torres, Senior Portfolio Manager at San Diego Community Power; Paul Eory, Manager of Strategy and Planning at Lansing Board of Water & Light; and Michael Enger, Director of Energy and Market Operations at Austin Energy.
In discussing expectations for the future, the Ascend Summit panelists identified six common, high-level challenges for energy procurement, as well as guidance for meeting these challenges.
According to the Ascend Summit panelists, there exists a widespread acceptance of the need to pursue ambitious renewable energy goals while retiring carbon-emitting sources. However, panel participants highlighted the importance of striking a balance between sustainability, affordability, intermittency, and local development.
Despite variations in market designs, characteristics, and demographics, all panelists emphasized concerns about local content, job opportunities, and labor risks. New solutions are needed to ensure the fulfillment of these crucial aspects, all while preserving reliability and affordability. Various strategies, such as Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), diversified ownership structures, and supply diversification play pivotal roles in achieving these objectives. To prevent unexpected delays and challenges, panelists underscored the value of transparency, realistic assumptions, and adaptability when negotiating projects with developers.
While the electricity procurement landscape shares several common challenges, each market and organization possesses unique perspectives and priorities. The unifying factors of renewable energy adoption, reliability, and cost-effectiveness bind these markets together. However, the approaches and challenges they face highlight the multifaceted nature of the industry. Collaboration, adaptability, and a steadfast commitment to sustainability remain guiding principles for success in this ever-evolving field.
Ascend Analytics, an innovative leader at the forefront of the energy transition, offers advanced software and consulting services that capture the evolving and real-time dynamics of energy markets. The company provides its customers with optimized and comprehensive decision analysis that covers everything from long-term planning to real-time operations in the electric power supply industry.
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