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2023 - A Year to Reunite
Acting Executive Director Sheila Hollis

Dear USEA Family,

On Thursday, January 26, USEA will hold its 19th Annual State of the Energy Industry Forum (SOTEI) to lead off 2023. This event will be held in-person at the National Press Club. SOTEI convenes leaders from Washington’s major energy associations to share their plans for the year ahead. The fast paced SOTEI offers the audience the opportunity to consider an array of varied perspectives. Speakers will set out their goals to meet energy needs in a changing legislative, administrative, and political environment. You can register here. Please note space is limited and available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Additionally, on Monday January 9th at 3:00 pm, as a part of an ongoing major program, USEA’S Consensus National Tribal Energy Roundtable with Zack Valdez, Chief of Staff of the Department Of Energy Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains; Dr. Adam Simon of the University of Michigan; and Myron Lizer, Vice President of the Navajo Nation will speak today and take a deep dive into the world of critical minerals and their role in advanced manufacturing. Join us as we discuss where Tribes can thrive in meeting the needs of a global energy future. Thanks to USEA'S Consensus team for spearheading this initiative. 


In closing, we honor and commemorate the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with his vision for the future. To quote Dr. King, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.”

Have a productive week that sets the stage for an exciting and productive year. Wishing you a healthy and prosperous year ahead.




Women In Energy: January 2023 Honoree 

This month's Women In Energy honoree is Gina Tomlinson-Williams, Director of Business Transformation and Organizational Development, Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS). Gina has worked across manufacturing IT and utilities and has over 15 years of experience in strategic planning, business process optimization, change management, and customer service.

Women make up 45 percent of the employee base at JPS owing to concrete efforts made to increase women’s inclusion in the hiring talent pool. Gina strongly believes however, that for those in the Caribbean, there needs to be more outreach to shape girls careers from as early as eight years old to mould their self-perception on their societal role. This will allow them to see themselves as engineers, and technical experts and leaders, and not just lawyers, doctors, or call centre agents. She recommends more career fairs, workshops and conferences for girls and women, sponsorship of women and girls’ personal development conferences as some options.

Read the full interview here - https://usea.org/article/women-energy-gina-tomlinson-williams

Just and Secure Energy Transition (JSET)

"Supporting the Clean, Secure Energy Transition Across Europe and Eurasia" 

 
In cooperation with the United States Agency for International Development, JSET has launched two initiatives to accelerate the clean energy transition in Europe and Eurasia.
 
The JSET Grid Enhancing Technology Initiative is an effort to provide the region with U.S.-developed technology that will increase the renewable energy absorptive capacity of the regional power grid. Transmission system operators and regulators across Europe and Eurasia will partner with U.S. equipment manufacturers and software companies to reduce technical and regulatory impediments to deploying cutting-edge smart grid technology. JSET will seek volunteers from the U.S. energy industry for this initiative. Grid enhancing technology promises to increase the region’s renewable energy absorptive capacity and cross-border transmission capacity at a fraction of the cost and time compared to building new infrastructure.
 
The JSET program has also launched an initiative to ensure that the Europe and Eurasia region has sufficient baseload generation and system flexibility to maintain reliability as it decarbonizes its generation fleet and adds renewable, intermittent generation capacity to the grid. JSET will lead the region’s transmission system operators and regulators in developing network models and analyses to identify future national and regional generation and flexibility capacity. The JSET program will then support energy leaders in designing market-based solutions to acquire and implement that generation capacity.

Learn more about these initiatives.
Energy Utility Partnership Program (EUPP)

"Improving Utility Performance and Energy Security By Enhancing Institutional Knowledge"

 
Mobilizing Private Sector Participation and Investment in South Asia
South Asian countries have committed to Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce GHG emissions and decarbonize their energy mix but need to mobilize finance to achieve this clean energy transition needs. According an IFC report South Asia has a $3.4 trillion climate investment opportunity to achieve its climate targets under the Paris Agreement. The "Market and Opportunities Assessment for Mobilizing Private Sector Participation and Investment to Support Energy Sector Transition in South Asia Report" officially launched on December 15, 2022 will help Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka create a more conducive environment for private sector participation and enhance the role of international and developmental finance institutions to assist in bringing that investment to the table. This report, led by the United States Energy Association and funded by USAID India under its regional South Asia Regional Energy program, identifies the critical financing gaps and private sector engagement opportunities alongside recommending financing and non-financing interventions to address these gaps. The analysis drafted by PwC provides country-wise detailed market assessments with an overview of the broad landscape of the clean energy sector, current investment trends and outlook towards the clean energy sector, key risks, uncertainties involved in the development of the clean energy sector, and innovative financing instruments. It also identifies existing U.S. International Development Finance Corporation financing instruments to tap into, in addition to identifying innovative instruments and non-financing interventions worth considering.

Read the report here.
 
 
Business Innovation Partnership Conference
In 2021 U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in collaboration with the U.S. Energy Association (USEA), launched the Business Innovation Partnership (BIP) to help utilities survive in a new world of changing customer demands, increasing competition, and evolving technologies. The program created a global network of utility thought leaders, designed to assist USAID partner utilities as they navigate some of the most pressing challenges within a rapidly evolving industry. The utility partners of the Business Innovation Partnership worked with five utilities from the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Jamaica, Nepal and Pakistan to help improve key business processes and develop change management skills necessary to effectively implement improved processes. For a little over a year from August 2021 to November 2022, the select utilities received specialized business process innovation and change management training from Lumen Insights and The Competitive Company (TCC), respectively. Additionally selected mentors shared their experiences on how these practises were utilized in their respective industries. On December 01 we hosted the closeout conference for the Business Innovation Partnership celebrating the achievements of the participating utilities, lessons learned, milestones successes, and the future roadmap ahead along with some deep-dive presentations from sectoral experts and leaders of business transformation.
        
 
Supporting Kazakhstan’s System Operator with Solutions to Voltage Issues
The Kazakhstan power system’s interconnection with Russia makes it vulnerable to reliability issues. Abrupt changes of transit flows in Russia’s Ural and Siberia power systems cause significant voltage deviations throughout Northern Kazakhstan, causing undesirable voltage deviations in Western and Southern Kazakhstan as well. These variations in voltage levels require frequent switching of substation reactors leading to the deterioration and premature failure of switching equipment. To help remedy this situation, the USEA – Central Asia Partnership, funded by USAID, provided the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC) with developed solutions to resolve these issues using modern Flexible Alternating Current Transmission System (FACTS) devices. This technical assistance included solutions for the present and future conditions of the Kazakhstan power systems, including planned renewable generation, and a roadmap for implementing the suggested FACTS technology throughout the KEGOC’s network. Implementation of FACTS technology will improve the quality and efficiency of power transmission with reduced delivery costs, contributing to increased reliability and resiliency of Kazakhstan’s National Power Grid.  
 
Helping Uzbekistan Prioritize System Reliability
Uzbekistan the most populous country in Central Asia is committed to tackling climate change by reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and transitioning to clean energy moving away from 85 per cent of its electricity being generate by natural gas. To remedy this, by 2030, Uzbekistan plans to increase the share of renewable generation to 25 percent of the country's total energy mix. These plans include 5,000 megawatts of new solar and 3,000 megawatts of wind power capacity. However, integration of a large share of renewable energy poses an increasing challenge to power system stability and grid resilience. In Uzbekistan, where power outages are frequent, this presents a serious challenge. Addressing this challenge the United States Energy Association (USEA) conducted a System Stability and Reliability Study – Prospective State for the National Electricity Transmission Company (NETC) of Uzbekistan to analyze the future system behaviour and develop possible technical and engineering solutions to avoid network instability that might be caused by renewable integration and released the report on December 12. USEA also ran a 3-day workshop from December 13 to 15 on modeling power systems stability and reliability issues in the DIgSILENT PowerFactory software using the study’s results and findings as case studies. The goal was to train NETC/NCC engineers to run these analyses themselves. This work, funded by USAID, will enhance NETC’s capacity for the integration of renewable generation while maintaining the stability and reliability of the national grid. In the long run, it will allow Uzbekistan to reach its clean energy goals while improving energy supply to its population and maintaining energy security.

 
Advancing Modern Power Through Utility Partnerships (AmpUp) Program
 
Workshop Offering a Practical Guide to Asset Recovery and Circular Economy for Electric Utilities
While many electric utilities have ambitious power generation decarbonization goals, few consider resource circularity in climate targets, financial models, supply chain, and inventory management. Traditionally the electric utility sector has utilized the standard “take-use-make” approach of the linear economy in its supply chain and inventory planning processes. The circular economy model, which emphasizes a “make-use-reuse-refurbish-recycle” approach, has emerged as an alternative to reduce costs and mitigate supply chain disruptions for assets such as transformers, meters, and more. Refurbishment can also avoid emissions generated from electrical asset fabrication, supply chain, and disposal to meet targets in USAID’s Climate Strategy. On December 5, USEA and the Arizona State University collaboratively hosted a panel discussion to introduce a practical framework for asset circularity for an electric utility. The utility Salt River Project focused on discussing transformer shortages and mitigation strategies for grid-connected customers, and energy solutions provider Engie Energy Access discussed circularity for solar home systems and mini-grid assets for off-grid customers. Webinar speakers and content aimed at informing development of an actionable guide on asset circularity that will be made available to attendees at a later date.
 
 
Climate Risk Management: Key Lessons from U.S. Utilities
As climate change poses mounting threats to the quality and reliability of power systems, electric utilities in the United States are taking necessary steps to identify and manage these risks. There is a lesson in this best practise for utilities in developing countries as well who can take action to protect critical infrastructure and maintain reliable service amidst an uncertain climate future. To address this on December 12, USEA’s AmpUp program hosted a webinar highlighting the experiences of two U.S. utilities that are leaders in climate risk management and resilience planning: Con Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).The two organizations presented on key lessons learned and recommendations for utilities in developing countries to consider in their own climate risk management processes followed by an engaging panel discussion and Q&A session.

We are helping USAID transform key energy systems, to boost green skills and strengthen governance in Colombia. Did you read our article on Climatelinks?
Promoting Consensus on CCUS and Carbon Management Technologies

"To Educate The Public, Policy Makers, Industry, and Other Stakeholders and Build A Consensus on the Benefits of Carbon Capture Utilization Sequestration and Carbon Management Technologies"


 
USEA’s Consensus Program finished a busy year with a webinar as well as the closing out of many projects. On December 5th, the second installment of the National Tribal Energy Roundtable was held focusing on Clean Energy, Higher Education, and Workforce Development. The recording of the webinar and copies of the presentations can be viewed here. The next installment of this webinar series, this time focused on Critical Minerals, Research and Development, and Advanced Manufacturing is planned for January 9th. Thanks to its partner Battelle, the Consensus program finalized a Summary Report on Life Cycle Assessments of Carbon Dioxide Removal Methods. The report will be released to the public in the coming month so stay tuned!
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