Natural gas, also commonly referred to by its chemical name, methane, is one of the single most controversial topics of the energy transition so far. On the one hand, natural gas is an energy commodity that is far cleaner than coal as a feedstock for power generation and it is a fuel for which there is no alternative in terms of its load-following characteristics. It can be dispatched on very short notice, ramp up and down quickly and easily, and can stay on-line for days on end, as long as the gas delivery network is functional (which, as we learned in Texas in February 2021, is not always the case).
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Topics: Natural Gas Sustainability Education
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“If not me, then who? If not now, then when?” Ray Anderson, Founder of Interface.
Throughout the evolution of any great company, there are hallmark moments that define each new chapter. These experiences often serve as fuel for the company’s new trajectory and become a reference point for the team’s future work and ultimate impact. Our team experienced one of these catalyzing moments in mid-November during a screening of Beyond Zero that concluded with a live Q&A with the film’s writer and director, Nathan Havey.
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The team at 5 has spent many months, complemented by countless charts, graphs, and blog posts, discussing the rising prices and volatility in the energy markets. When you spend so much time in the weeds, the bigger picture becomes cloudy. In this reflection, we step back to highlight the fundamental shift that has happened in the marketplace over the last year. Shifts of this magnitude do not happen often, perhaps once every ten years, and they need to be called out.
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Consumer Power Advocates (CPA) serves as a regulatory advocate for non-profit institutional organizations in New York. Launched at the onset of electricity deregulation by Luthin Associates, a leading energy advisory company acquired by 5 in 2019, CPA continues to advocate for its members and intervene in key energy legislation today.
Topics: Clients Sustainability Renewables Resiliency
3 min read
EPA’s stricter wastewater rules among reasons for additional coal-fired power plant retirements across PJM
In July 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new initiatives to strengthen wastewater pollution regulations for power plants that use steam to generate electricity and use coal as their fuel source. These initiatives are expected to affect 75 coal-fired power plants nationwide. The new rules would require these power plants to reduce their level of toxic metals, such as mercury, arsenic, and selenium, from plant wastewater before discharge into streams and rivers. Noncomplying plants had an October deadline to show state regulators how they plan to comply with the EPA’s regulations by 2028.
Topics: Markets PJM Sustainability Renewables
10 min read
On behalf of the team at 5, I am pleased to forward our market letter for the third quarter of 2021. World leaders convened in Glasgow on October 31st to address international commitments to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The energy market welcomed these delegates with a complex set of conditions that frame the challenge posed by the transition to a clean energy economy. These include historically high natural gas prices and significant energy shortages in several markets that moved aggressively to decarbonize their electricity grids: UK, Germany, and California. At the same time, energy shortages in China may undercut decarbonization efforts of the world’s largest carbon emitter.
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Liberty Science Center is a 300,000-square-foot learning center located in Liberty State Park on the Jersey City bank of the Hudson River near the Statue of Liberty. It houses 12 museum exhibition halls, a live animal collection with 110 species, giant aquariums, a 3D theater, live simulcast surgeries, hurricane- and tornado-force wind simulators, and the Western Hemisphere's biggest planetarium—the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium and LSC Giant Dome Theater. More than 750,000 students, teachers, and parents visit Liberty Science Center each year, and tens of thousands more participate in the Center's off-site and online programs.
Proactively controlling energy expenses and consistently reducing energy usage has always been a top priority for Liberty Science Center. The facilities and operations staff have looked to the team at 5 as a trusted partner to advise on best practices for electricity procurement and the implementation of a purchasing strategy that takes their existing solar arrays into account. Through a competitive procurement process, electricity contracts were recently put in place that leveraged 5’s proprietary energy market platform to identify strategic purchasing opportunities. Liberty Science Center has also aggressively participated in Demand Response programs and taken steps to reduce electricity usage to parts of the museum during periods of peak demand, which has provided an additional revenue stream to the museum over the last decade.
Liberty Science Center has also relied on 5 to provide regular updates on regulatory issues that are shaping energy markets in New Jersey. 5’s advisory services have helped Liberty Science Center to take both regulatory and market forces into account as they plan and forecast their energy costs into the future. Paola Amato, Director of Facilities at the Liberty Science Center said, “At a nonprofit like ours, keeping energy use efficient and reducing costs is a big part of the job. 5 has always been a terrific partner in these efforts.” Additionally, Chief Engineer Ronald Taglieri said, “We have faced a lot of unpredictable challenges in the past two years. 5’s partnership as we navigated our institution’s future was invaluable.”
5 is privileged to support and partner with an institution that is committed to inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers through the power, promise, and pure fun of science and technology.
5 min read
On October 31, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (aka COP26) will kick off in Glasgow, Scotland. This event will mark what many energy and sustainability leaders consider to be an important escalation in the global fight to reduce pollution and implement measures to address the effects of climate change. There is one developing environmental commodity, carbon offset credits, that continues to gain traction and we are excited to help clients capitalize on this new sustainability opportunity.
Topics: Sustainability Education Renewables Resiliency
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Illinois Passes Nation-Leading Climate and Equitable Jobs Act
On September 15, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed historic clean energy legislation, known as the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). Among many things, the CEJA requires Illinois to achieve a 100% carbon-free power sector by 2045, becoming the first Midwestern state to commit to ending the use of fossil fuels.
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The Washington Tennis and Education Foundation’s (WTEF) mission is to build life champions, giving children and youth a safe environment where they can excel. WTEF empowers them to achieve their highest potential by developing meaningful values and critical skills that lead them to life-long success through a pathway of continual academic, life skills, and tennis instruction during after-school and summer camp hours.