Author Archives Laura Arnold

US Federal Reserve says climate poses stability risks

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   November 10, 2020  /   Posted in Uncategorized  /   No Comments

By Reuters Staff

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve for the first time called out climate change among risks enumerated in its biannual financial stability report, and warned about the potential for abrupt changes in asset values in response to a warming planet.

“Acute hazards, such as storms, floods, or wildfires, may cause investors to update their perceptions of the value of real or financial assets suddenly,” Fed Governor Lael Brainard said in comments attached to the report, released Monday.

“Chronic hazards, such as slow increases in mean temperatures or sea levels, or a gradual change in investor sentiment about those risks, introduce the possibility of abrupt tipping points or significant swings in sentiment,” Brainard said.

Such abrupt price changes from climate-related disasters could also create difficult-to-predict knock-on effects through financial markets, the report said, particularly because not enough is understood, or disclosed, about the true extent of exposures to climate risks.

“Increased transparency through improved measurement and more standardized disclosures will be crucial,” Brainard said. “It is vitally important to move from the recognition that climate change poses significant financial stability risks to the stage where the quantitative implications of those risks are appropriately assessed and addressed.”

Monday’s report comes just days after Joe Biden won the U.S. presidential election against President Donald Trump, who has downplayed the risks of climate change. Biden has promised to put fighting climate change back on the U.S. policy agenda.

Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Alistair Bell

ICC Grants Emergency Relief to Preserve Ameren-IL Net Metering

Posted by Laura Arnold  /   October 02, 2020  /   Posted in Net Metering, solar, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Uncategorized  /   No Comments

Illinois regulators grant emergency relief to preserve net metering, order audit of Ameren's bid to end it

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UPDATE: Oct. 2, 2020: The Illinois Commerce Commission on Thursday granted an emergency motion to solar advocacy organizations urging Ameren "to provide full net metering credits to residential solar customers until an audit is completed."
The commission also directed its staff to perform the audit and determine if Ameren has reached the required threshold under state law for ending retail net metering in its service territory. Ameren says it may reach that threshold imminently.
ICC Chairman Carrie Zalewski "expressed concerns that by allowing Ameren to end net metering before the Commission approved the replacement tariff as required by statute, would be a violation of the legislature’s intent to transition smoothly from retail net metering to a successor distributed generation rebate," the commission said in a press release.

Dive Brief:

  • The continued growth of residential solar is under threat in Illinois, the solar industry said this week, with Ameren asserting a 2016 state law allows it to stop compensating home solar customers at the full retail rate for the power they send back to the grid.
  • The Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016 allows a utility to work with state regulators to replace the full retail rate, based on net metering, with a negotiated "distributed generation rebate" when the amount of distributed solar generation reaches 5% of the peak demand on the system. Ameren says it will soon reach that threshold.
  • The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has set a public meeting for today, following an emergency request from the solar industry and environmental groups asking it to order Ameren to continue full retail compensation, kilowatt-hour for kilowatt-hour, until a new distributed generation tariff is developed, as required by the 2016 law.
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