Cleaner, Cost-Effective Energy Through Competition
America’s competitive power suppliers are committed to the highest standards of environmental responsibility. Driven by the transformative power of competition and innovation, we’re building the grid of the future while providing reliable, efficient, least-cost energy today—through private investment that puts the risk of investment on companies, not ratepayers.
How does competition reduce power sector emissions and encourage clean energy?
Along with encouraging power providers to deliver least-cost solutions, competition has accelerated emissions reductions and been a key driver for putting more clean energy technology on the grid. In fact, regions with competitive power markets saw a faster decline in emissions since 2005 than regions with regulated vertically-integrated monopoly utilities.
Power generation owners must operate efficiently to remain economically competitive while providing power capacity to system operators. Meanwhile, market signals keep these power generators responsive to price trends. The low cost of cleaner natural gas dramatically advanced coal plant retirements, and the increasingly low cost of renewable resources is driving more investment in wind and solar generation.
Regions with competitive power markets have deployed more renewable energy resources than those with vertically-integrated regulated monopoly utilities – about 80% of the U.S. total, even though they only account for about 67% of total overall capacity.
Unlike regulated utilities, competitive power suppliers are nimble and flexible. If markets are allowed to work as they should, power generators will adapt quickly to invest in the lowest-cost, most-effective resources — achieving lasting widespread, regional results.
Competitive Policy to Reduce Emissions
A History of Clean Power Leadership
Competitive power suppliers have followed market signals to lead investment in cost-effective clean energy. Here are just some examples.
- Over a dozen years ago, LS Power became one of the first utility-scale private developers of solar generation. Since then, it has invested more than $1.8 billion to develop, construct and operate multiple solar projects across the U.S. LS Power also has committed support to more than 20 solar and distributed-generation projects through its tax equity investment program.
- Vistra Energy is developing the world’s largest battery energy storage project. When it opens in late 2020, the 300-MW Moss Landing facility will support intermittent renewable resources in California—making possible an even cleaner future.
A Clean Commitment
EPSA member companies are committed to building a cleaner future. They’ve adopted aggressive carbon-reduction goals, and joined coalitions promoting environmental progress such as the Climate Leadership Council.
Texas saw a dramatic increase in wind power since it introduced its competitive energy market — the Electric Reliability Council of Texas — in 2000, going from 116 MW to more than 24,000 MW of installed wind energy capacity in 2019.
By the Numbers
6,000 MW: EPSA member companies own and operate more than 6,000 MW of power capacity from renewable resources, in addition to cost-competitive zero-emitting nuclear plants.
35%: Regions with competitive power markets governed by ISOs have reduced their power sector emissions by about 35% since 2005, while non-ISO regions have only reduced their power sector emissions by about 27% over that same period.
37%: The drop in carbon dioxide emissions across the PJM Interconnection footprint since 2005, encouraged by the investment in and entry of new, more efficient power generation technologies and renewables.
51%: The decrease in New York state’s carbon dioxide emissions since the New York Independent System Operator launched competitive markets.
80%: The share of utility-scale renewable generation capacity deployed in regions with competitive power markets.