The New Orleans City Council has an extraordinary power -- the regulation of Entergy as an investor-owned utility company. Though the Council has a designated Utility, Cable, Telecommunications and Technology Committee (“UCTTC”) consisting of five members, major regulatory decisions are brought to the full Council for voting. Thus, all New Orleans City Council members are both legislators and regulators of a major electric and gas utility.
For years, the Energy Future New Orleans Coalition has advocated for strong regulatory oversight of Entergy in order to lower costs to ratepayers, increase the reliability of electric service in New Orleans, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are the cause of the changing climate threatening the future of our city.
Our infrastructure was not designed for the new world we face.
In six months we’ve seen two black swan weather events cause an energy crisis. As we reckon with the systems engineering impact of extreme weather, energy resilience will undoubtedly emerge as an essential underpinning of our future grid.
The first of these events was in August of 2020. A multi-state heat wave led to blackouts in California when the power system operator couldn’t secure adequate generation to meet immense air conditioning loads.
The second event is happening as we speak. A massive winter storm is delivering crushingly low temperatures across much of the US. Texas, most of which currently does not have power, is being hit the hardest, not necessarily in absolute temperature, but relative to their typical winters.
Months ago the New Orleans City Council unanimously approved a resolution committing the City to 100% Net-Zero emissions by 2040, followed by actual zero emissions by 2050. Then the Council sent stakeholders back to the table to work out the details.
Now the Council is expected to take up a final renewable resolution in January 2021. So, what does the rule on the Council’s desks look like, and does it meet those top four goals laid out by the Council earlier this year? Here is the breakdown.
Windmill blades prepared for transportation sit at the Associated Terminals on Weinberger Road in Chalmette, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Renewable-energy advocates, federal officials and representatives of wind-industry groups argue that wind power ought to get a closer look, as larger turbines and the prospect of lower costs could make a wind farm in the Gulf of Mexico a viable future power source for the city. ADVOCATE STAFF PHOTO BY DAVID GRUNFELD
New Orleans City Council declares intention to achieve renewable energy goals. Denies 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard.
New Orleans, LA -- Today the New Orleans City Council issued a resolution that calls on stakeholders to develop regulations on a “100% Renewable and Clean Portfolio Standard” that will mandate that Entergy New Orleans reduce their net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2040 through the use of renewable energy resources, nuclear, gas. The Council set forth a six month timeline directing stakeholders to outline cost management policy, set mandatory deadlines for emissions reductions, and to phase out renewable “credits” by 2050.
In response to Entergy New Orlean's claims that a Resilient + Renewable Portfolio Standard would be unaffordable for New Orleans, the Alliance for Affordable Energy worked with the Applied Economics Clinic to set the record straight. Liz Stanton, PhD, Researcher Bryndis Woods, and Assistant Researchers Eliandro Tavares and Sagal Alisalad prepared a report that addresses Entergy New Orleans’ (ENO) critiques of the Energy Future New Orleans Coalition's July 2019 Resilient Renewable Portfolio Standard (R-RPS) proposal to achieve a 100 percent renewable electric generation by 2040. ENO incorrectly claims that the R-RPS would: be prohibitively costly; harm grid resiliency, and harm grid reliability. AEC’s analysis of the R-RPS found the plan to be affordable, would provide substantial resiliency benefits, and would reliably provide New Orleans’ energy needs. Here are some of the top takeaways from AEC's report.
According to an opinion poll commissioned by the Alliance for Affordable Energy, a clear majority of New Orleans residents are supportive of a transition to 100% renewable energy and away from fossil fuels.
The Energy Future New Orleans Coalition is: