EPSA’s Todd Snitchler Talks Competitive Power Generation and Electrification at the Baker Institute’s Energy Summit
Last week, EPSA President and CEO Todd Snitchler made a virtual appearance at the Baker Institute’s 2021 Annual Energy Summit to discuss electrification, sustainability and how competitive power markets can help enable each. Moderated by George Fibbe, a partner at Baker Botts L.L.P., the discussion brought together industry, investors and academics to discuss the coming changes to the power sector. Snitchler was joined by panelists including an EPSA member company representative, Jeanne-Mey Sun, vice president for Sustainability at NRG Energy Inc.
In his remarks, Snitchler spoke about the ways in which EPSA member companies bring some 150,000 MW of reliable, affordable electricity to homes and businesses across the nation—including more than 42,000 MW in Texas—and explained how natural gas-fired generation is and will continue to be an indispensable source of power to support intermittent renewables as the grid decarbonizes.
Snitchler also shared how EPSA member companies are a key part of the puzzle of advancing sustainability goals and supporting increased electrification, while also ensuring that power remains reliable and affordable. As electrification drives increased demand for electricity, competitive markets are the best way to keep prices down and make sure customers have the energy resources they need.
Some key points:
- Power generation emissions dropped dramatically in competitive markets as coal and higher emitting resources have retired and cleaner, more efficient and lower-emitting resources have replaced them.
- Competition puts downward pressure on pricing, and consumers have continued to benefit from lower wholesale generation prices. Power generation costs in PJM and other markets are at historic lows.
- Electrification will increase 2050 U.S. electricity consumption by 20-30% by 2050, and natural gas or other forms of firm power generation will be needed to maintain system reliability. In PJM, Energy + Environmental Economics (E3) estimates 50-90 GW of natural gas will be needed through 2045, while up to 46 GW of gas will be required to serve electric load reliably in a New England high electrification scenario.
- When it comes to decarbonizing the power sector, policies that target reducing emissions while ensuring reliable and least-cost solutions will yield the most effective results to meet the growing demand for electricity.