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  • Scope 3 Emissions Reductions: No-Scope Headshotting Reliability // The Biden Admin Busts Out Solar Tariffs? // Nuclear Partnership: Poland and America

Scope 3 Emissions Reductions: No-Scope Headshotting Reliability // The Biden Admin Busts Out Solar Tariffs? // Nuclear Partnership: Poland and America

Wednesday--halfway home. Here's what we're looking at today. 

Scope 3 Emissions Reductions: No-Scope Headshotting Reliability

Sempra, National Grid, Entergy, Duke, and Dominion Energy have committed themselves to include Scope 3 emissions in their net-zero obligations. Scope 3 emissions include those emissions "generated by a company's indirect impacts across its value chain, accounted for 75% of the power sector's total emissions in 2019, according to S&P Global data." This is an aggressive stance to take and it could have a shocking impact on electricity reliability.

First, it's not entirely clear how utilities will plan to go about this. Scope 3 is new and companies are just figuring it out. But these aspirations tend to hit pay dirt. So, to get our heads around what this might mean, let's compare the map above to this map of ISO regions from FERC.

A lot of that purple "aggressive" scope three stuff is being set up in already embrittled power markets--ERCOT, NYISO, PJM, and MISO. And I think it's fair to guess that when these utilities, even if they own nuclear assets, commit themselves to net-zero, they're thinking of renewables. This means more volatile power throughout.

But it also means these places will struggle to import power from each other. For instance, MISO imported 7GW of electricity from PJM last year. But PJM is also closing 3GW of coal. As MISO ramps up its intermittent sources while phasing out its reliable fossil fuel units as PJM does the same, what happens? Everyone needs reliability, but nobody has it. 

Suddenly, everyone's suffering from Fatal Trifecta Syndrome: too many renewables, too much reliance on JIT gas, and too dependent on neighbors. That means blackouts.

The Biden Admin Busts Out the Solar Tariffs?

The Biden administration's looking into the origin of imported solar panels. Something like 80% of the solar panels America installed last year came from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. The administration wants to know if any of these are covertly from China, in which case they would merit tariffs. 

Though the investigation is likely to take a year, the solar industry is noticeably upset. Here are a couple of responses that appear in a recent article:

- "The Solar Energy Industries Association and the American Clean Power Association (ACP) described the decision as a knife in the back for a technology that the Biden administration has elsewhere crowned as the future king of the country’s grids."

-  If Commerce does end up instituting new tariffs, catastrophe would follow for the solar sector — and likely the Biden administration’s larger climate goals — warned a joint op-ed published yesterday by executives from ACP, SEIA, and the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which represents investor-owned utilities. “Make no mistake, if the complainant is successful, solar energy will become as much as two to three times more expensive than it was just one year ago,” wrote the groups, adding that it would permanently stain the Biden presidency’s record on solar, by slowing deployment below the levels achieved during the Trump years.

But not everyone in the solar industry is upset. Those who have been trying to build out America's domestic solar production welcome the investigation. China, as they rightly see it, has been undercutting their business with cheap coal and slave labor. 

Regardless, the investigation sends more mixed signals. Last year, the administration seemed bullish on solar. Now, they're hamstringing the industry heavyweights. This kind of waffling is the only consistency Biden has offered the energy sector. 

Nuclear Partnership: America and Poland

Last year, America agreed to help Poland develop its civilian nuclear program. After meeting with Biden, Polish President Duda said, "I do believe that we will be able to get the program off the ground soon, together with the American enterprises and under the patronage of the White House - it is urgently needed in Poland." The situation in Europe underscores Duda's mention of urgency.

World Nuclear News reports, "Poland's Energy Policy for 2040 is based on three pillars: a just transition; a zero-emission energy system; and good air quality. The first 1-1.6 GWe nuclear unit is to be commissioned in 2033, with five more units, or 6-9 GWe, to follow by 2040. The seaside towns of Lubiatowo and Kopalino in Poland's Choczewo municipality have been named as the preferred location for the country's first large nuclear power plant."

Westinghouse will help Poland on the front end with the AP-1000 reactor design. The first AP-1000s are still experiencing construction delays in Georgia at the Vogtle plant. Poland has also signed a deal with NuScale for an SMR to be deployed as early as 2019. 


  • Appeals court strikes to heart of CAISO membership. (CEM)

  • New England 'fuel fight' portends trouble for clean energy grid. (BBG Law)

  • FERC dials back implementation of new green pipeline policies. (WE)

  • Russia says it will reduce military activity around Kyiv. (FT)

  • Saudis may hike oil price to record as war reroutes flows. (BBG)

Word of the Day


n. nuclear reactor type

CANadian Deuterium Uranium reactor, moderated and cooled by heavy water (except for the ACR design, which is cooled by light water). These are the most common PHWRs (cf. Heavy water reactor). (Source)

Crom's Blessing

GE's 500,000 bhp 9HA Harriet gas turbine.