Partner Sarah Fitts was featured on the new clean energy-focused podcast, Pirates of Clean Tech. She discussed the week’s news in clean energy and her new book, Distributed Generation Law, the first definitive guide about developing distributed energy generation projects for which she served as co-editor.
“The challenge of a book in this click bait era is anything that’s going to be relevant in print will be irrelevant the minute after you’ve read it. We spent a lot of thinking not just what’s important now but what’s going to be relevant a year from now. We focused a lot on history, not just where we are, but how we got here,” Sarah said about the development of the book, which took three years from start to finish.
She added that it became clear early on in the editing process that states – not the federal government – would drive distributed energy, which complicates the regulatory process.
“It’s hard to say what best practices are because this is still new from a regulatory perspective,” she said. “But it’s absolutely true that there’s a huge variation, which is kind of interesting because we’ll actually be able say well that worked in Minnesota and this didn't work in Ohio. But if you were actually a developer, it’s just really complicated and expensive and there’s a lot of uncertainly.”
With her energy finance experience, Sarah also discussed the growth potential of hydrogen-produced energy, a car manufacturer’s new wireless system, and a new order from FERC that could make harder to take non-economic factors into consideration in energy planning, for example to replace “peakers” – old construction, high-polluting power plants – around New York City.
“Part of the plan is replace [peakers] with batteries because they’re placed in environmental justice neighborhoods with high childhood asthma,” Sarah said. “If you could have the same benefits of replacing a diesel fired plant with an array of batteries, why wouldn’t you, even if it’s costs more?”
Listen to the full episode here.