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Designing the 21st Century Electricity System

The Clean Energy Buyers Institute provides expert thought leadership for energy customers and others on the transformational market changes needed to transition to a reliable, cost-effective, zero-carbon electricity system.

Current U.S. electricity regulatory and market structures designed for a fossil fuel dominant grid are inadequate for a 21st electricity system transitioning to zero-carbon emissions. With transformational change, the power system will be able to meet customer demand for zero-carbon energy reliably and affordably and achieve system-level changes. This program dives into deeper engagement, research, and education on the recommendations provided by the Clean Energy Buyers Institute report, Designing the 21st Century Electricity System: How Electricity Buyers Can Accelerate Change.

Priorities identified as the leading challenges to energy customers’ goals and a zero-carbon electricity system include:

As the Clean Energy Buyers Institute works more deeply on the report’s recommendations, basic primers on topics such as RTO/ISO governance and resource adequacy have been developed to support energy customer education.

Organized Wholesale Market Expansion

Download Organized Wholesale Markets Explainer

Learn the basics on organized wholesale markets, Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), and Independent System Operators (ISOs).

RTO/ISO Governance

U.S. Organized Wholesale Electricity Governance Primer

This Primer compares key governance and decision-making elements across the seven Regional Transmission Organizations/Independent System Operators (RTOs/ISOs) in the U.S., highlighting the importance and impact to electricity customers. Elements are structured in a top-down approach, beginning with discussion on regulatory oversight and governing bodies, and ending with stakeholder participation and independent evaluation of RTOs.

Market Design Reform

Resource Adequacy General Approaches and Importance to Energy Buyers Primer

This Primer is the first edition of a series on resource adequacy and aims to educate energy customers on what resource adequacy is and how it impacts electric reliability, clean energy integration, and cost efficiency.

Transmission Expansion

Electric Transmission Planning Primer

This education tool for energy customers shares the basics of transmission planning by exploring infrastructure components, jurisdictional authorities, key stakeholders, and current planning processes. The Primer explores the role of transmission in efforts to decarbonize the grid, in achieving energy customers’ clean energy goals, and the challenges and reform opportunities under existing transmission policies.

White Paper on Transmission Planning Reforms to Support Large Customer Clean Energy Demand and Investment

The Transmission Planning Reforms to Support Large Customer Clean Energy Demand and Investment Whitepaper builds upon recommendations on transmission highlighted in CEBI’s Designing the 21st Century Electricity System report by outlining near-term reforms needed to ensure large energy customers’ demand and investment in clean energy is effectively considered and integrated into transmission planning. Informed by interviews from a diverse set of experts and large energy customers, the white paper describes potential steps Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and transmission planners can take to better align customer demand and transmission planning.

Supporting Large Customer Clean Energy Demand Through Transmission Reform

In this webinar, CEBI presented potential reforms for transmission planning that are underway and the specific ways large energy customers can play an integral role. It also described avenues for customers engaging with utilities and RTOs to effectively communicate the large clean energy customer’s perspective on engaging in transmission reform and planning.

Resource Library

In support of its mission to solve the toughest market and policy barriers to achieve a carbon-free energy system, the Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI) has created a clearinghouse of resources for organizations interested in the advancement of clean energy.