Author: REsurety

The Fight To Define Clean Hydrogen, as published by GreenBiz

What counts as green hydrogen is a $100 billion dollar question.

Authored by Sarah Golden, VP of Energy, GreenBiz Group

GreenBiz addresses the challenges behind defining what “clean hydrogen” really means, with different stakeholders in the industry advocating for definitions that would secure them high investments and large returns. Lee Taylor provides his perspective on the matter and REsurety’s energy matching data is featured. See below for an excerpt from the article.


“How it would work: An electrolyzer is placed somewhere close to a clean energy plant (solar, wind, hydro, nuclear), and runs directly off clean energy.

I confess, before thinking about this, I pictured this to be how green hydrogen would work, as ‘green’ generally refers to hydrogen created from exclusively clean energy. ‘Clean’ hydrogen, on the other hand, has a bit more flexibility, as it would include hydrogen made from dirty energy with carbon capture.

The upshot: While demonstrably clean, this method is not scalable at the level needed for clean hydrogen to displace conventional hydrogen today – much less ramp up to other applications.

‘[Co-locating electrolysis with clean energy] will work in a very small number of geographies, and at an extremely high cost,’ said Lee Taylor, CEO of REsurety, who spoke to me about these four buckets. ‘You just won’t get the growth of the hydrogen industry if it all has to be co-located on site.'”

Read the full article here.

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Employee Spotlight on Marion Cundari, Senior Associate, Analytics Services – Post-Trade Services

“We’re working on things that roll up to tangible benefits for the clean energy sector. Not only am I challenged to grow and continue to learn, but the big picture is that our work is making an impact on more lives than just my own.”

“I grew up on the south shore of Boston and I was actually really shy as a kid. But I loved being outside. I was one of those kids that would spend the whole day outside with my neighbors and siblings just playing. As I grew up, that morphed into having a sport for every season. I played soccer, I skied in the winter and even ski raced a bit in high school, and in the summer I sailed. Eventually I coached sailing. I taught kids how to race after racing myself. Thinking about myself academically as a kid, I was definitely a big ol’ nerd. I would get so stressed out about getting 100 on every assignment.

“I always preferred math and science. When I got to undergrad at UVM, I knew I wanted to go into engineering, but I didn’t know which specific sector. At first I was leaning towards biomedical engineering, but started broadly within mechanical engineering. Throughout that first year or two you have that flexibility to explore what’s interesting to you and that’s when the energy sector started to come to light. I absolutely loved thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. I enjoyed solving complex energy problems in the academic setting. I then extrapolated that to ‘well, we’ve got pretty big energy problems as a society, so that might be a career that makes sense for me.’ So that snowballed into taking renewable energy specific courses in undergrad, as well as a senior design project – which is your whole senior year as an engineering student – working with a local company in Vermont to develop a novel audio based condition monitoring system for wind turbines. My experience in undergrad helped guide me towards the renewable energy industry through my courses and hands-on experiences.

“I graduated back in 2017. I also did a minor in Economics while I was there, which at the time had a lot of people telling me, ‘you’re not going to use that; why are you stressing yourself out with a minor?’ But I was interested in it and it’s come full circle. I now work in a setting where I can apply my problem solving skills from engineering with that economics background on our settlement team.

“I’ve been at REsurety for about three and a half years. I absolutely love working at REsurety. I think we do so many things right as a company, and there are a couple core attributes that make it such an awesome place to work. First, the nature of what we’re working on is super interesting to me. We’re working on things that roll up to tangible benefits for the clean energy sector. Not only am I challenged to grow and continue to learn, but the big picture is that our work is making an impact on more lives than just my own.

“I think the other component that we do well is our team. We have a very diverse team with specialities across different sectors. We bring those diverse backgrounds and specialities into our problem solving strategy, and I think that’s really important. On the more lighthearted side, everyone’s really pleasant to work with and I always look forward to connecting with my colleagues in person.

“The renewable energy industry is still young, and relatively small if you compare it to most other industries. This means our generation has a lot of impact on the direction that we go in as an industry and that’s really exciting to me. I think a lot of the solutions needed to fully transition to a clean energy fueled future are still in development and some may not exist yet. We will be the generation that sees these developments come to fruition. There is always going to be a new problem for us to solve.

“Usually if I’m not working, you can find me in the mountains somewhere. In the winter I’ll be on skis, and in the summer I’ll be running. Usually Bruno, my dog, is with me. I think it goes back to who I was as a kid too – I just like to be outside.

“Beyond generally enjoying the outdoors I also like to race, mostly mountain trail running races. In addition to local trail races, I do Spartan Races, which I started when I was in college. Pre-pandemic, I was traveling a lot for them too and competing mostly at the mountain venues. I have a couple of companies that I work with that support my athletic endeavors. I work with SCOTT Sports on their running team. I also work with UnTapped Maple and Atomic Coffee Roasters. They help support me because it gets expensive to be buying sneakers and running fuel every month. I’ve even convinced a couple of our colleagues to do a Spartan Race with me. We do the Fenway Park Spartan Race each fall as a REsurety team and I enjoy motivating my coworkers to work out to train for that.”

Learn about other REsurety employees.

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Q1 2023 State of the Renewables Market Report

A view of Q1 2023 U.S. renewable energy performance

REsurety creates the State of the Renewables Market report every quarter to provide readers with data-driven insight into the value and emerging trends of renewable generation in U.S. power markets. We use our domain expertise in power markets, atmospheric science, and renewable offtake to analyze thousands of locations and summarize key findings here. All of the data behind this analysis is curated by REsurety’s team of experts and available via our software products. It includes aggregated metrics for wind and solar projects operating in the U.S. All summaries are calculated using hourly-level data, and all energy-weighted price metrics are calculated using concurrent weather-driven generation and energy price time series. Please fill out the form at the bottom of the page to access the full report, the Editor’s Note is below.

Devon Lukas
Devon Lukas
Lead Analyst
Senior Analyst, Analytics Services – Pre-Trade Services
Carl Ostridge, Senior Vice President of Analytics Services at REsurety
Carl Ostridge
SVP of Analytics Services

Editor’s Note:

Ups and Downs on the Power Market Rollercoaster

For me, the story of 2022 was the high average power prices across the U.S. Emphasis on average because the high prices were not driven by individual large weather or market events like Winter Storm Uri in 2021. Yes, there were some weather-linked events, but these really didn’t move the needle at the annual level. The real driver in 2022 was the underlying price of natural gas – Henry Hub prices started the year at ~$4/MMBtu (already high compared to the last few years) and peaked close to $9/MMBtu in the summer. That’s by far the highest natural gas price seen in the post-shale era of the last 14 or so years.

Figure 1: Historical Henry Hub Natural Gas Spot Prices ($/MMBtu).

Natural gas is often the marginal fuel in many regions and there’s a strong correlation between natural gas prices and power prices as shown in Figure 2. The historic natural gas prices during 2022 also resulted in power prices reaching their highest annual average in at least the last decade (Winter Storm Uri’s influence in February 2021 excluded).

Figure 2: Natural Gas and Power Prices indexed to 2011-2022 averages (Feb 2021 excluded).

Those high prices led to large payouts to merchant projects and clean energy buyers. For example, a typical 100 MW wind project with a $30/MWh PPA settling at ERCOT West would’ve paid more than $2M to their buyer by the end of the year. An equivalent vPPA settling at SPP South would’ve paid out more than $3M.

Now, fast forward to Q1 2023 and the world looks very different. Gas prices have dropped more than 50% compared to Q4 2022 and 40% compared to Q1 2022. Power prices in most markets have seen similar decreases, down 20-50% compared to Q1 of last year. That means the same vPPAs that were paying large sums to buyers throughout 2022 are now back to paying the projects. In some cases, buyers cut checks to projects in Q1 that exceeded the checks that they received during the whole of 2022.

Table 1: Example Wind and Solar vPPA settlements for calendar year 2022 and Q1 2023

The volatility seen in commodity and power markets in the past 18 months is expected to continue. Natural gas fundamentals, new generation interconnection, supply chain challenges, geopolitical turmoil, and increasingly extreme weather are expected to continue causing large ups and downs in the markets and that, of course, means ups and downs for those buying and selling power.

To understand the contributions of the three primary drivers of changing prices and volatility – grid composition, commodity prices, and weather – REsurety publishes Weather-Smart fundamentals power price forecasts each quarter. For the next 20 years the forecasts account for multiple commodity scenarios and for each of those scenarios models how the grid and market will reach under weather conditions representing each of the past 40 years. For example, we forecast this summer’s prices under ‘mid’, ‘low’, and ‘high’ gas scenarios and if the heat of 2011 or the relatively mild weather of 2007 was repeated (and every set of summer conditions in between). This provides a unique view of how both the commodity prices and weather drive market outcomes.

The model predicts there’s approximately a 3x range between the highest and lowest prices averaged for the remainder of 2023. That’s the difference between having a vPPA pay out to the buyer at similar levels to 2022 or continue to pay out to the project in line with Q1 of this year. With this level of volatility, the clichéd investment disclaimers certainly ring true – “past performance is not a guarantee of future performance and prices may go up as well as down.”

At REsurety we’ll be keeping a close eye on how both the commodity markets and weather unfold over the coming months and keeping our Weather-Smart forecasts up to date with the latest data.

Q1 2023 Report Download

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Weather-Smart Forecast Q1 Report Summary

David Luke Oates of REsurety
Author: David Luke Oates, SVP of Power Markets Research

In late 2022, we announced the availability of Weather-Smart fundamentals power price forecasts. These forecasts give our customers unprecedented insight into the connection between weather, fundamentals, and value. Using REsurety’s suite of products and services, customers can determine the value of clean energy projects under expected conditions, stress test downside risk, and quantify potential upside. They can assemble and monitor portfolios of assets that help mitigate correlated risks. And they can quantify the carbon impact of clean generation, storage, and power consumption, accounting for location, timing, and a changing grid.

We recently updated our Weather-Smart forecasts for ERCOT and PJM. These forecasts are now available across REsurety’s offerings. Accompanying this release, our customers have also received our new report. This report provides customers with increased visibility into the methodology and input data driving our forecasts, giving them what they need to make better decisions using our forecast data. The report also provides a summary of high-level takeaways and discusses the changes in our outlook since the previous release.

REsurety's Q1 2023 Weather-Smart Forecast Report for ERCOT and PJM.

Our Q1 2023 Weather-Smart forecasts provide forward-looking views of Around the Clock (ATC) power prices, market heat rates, wind and solar capture rates, and Locational Marginal Emissions rates (LMEs) for a selection of hubs in ERCOT and PJM. Forecasts include five fundamental scenarios and represent 40 years of weather variability. Some of our high-level takeaways include:

  • Solar Buildout Drives Capture Rate Shifts: Our modeling consistently shows substantial reductions in solar capture rates as solar buildout ramps up. The speed of the decrease depends on fundamentals, weather, and market. But our results show it is unlikely for solar to retain greater than 100% capture rates for very long.
  • Weather and Fundamentals Drive Meaningful Capture Rate Variability: Capture rates (calculated with ISO-average generation) vary by approximately 60 percentage points for solar and approximately 30 percentage points for wind for some markets and forward years. Even larger ranges of capture rates are expected when considering site-specific generation profiles.
  • Gas Prices Are Down: Since our Q4 2022 release, gas forwards dropped by more than $4/MMBTU in the near term and about $1-$2 across the forecast horizon. This change reduced near-term ATC power prices, increased market heat rates, and reduced wind and solar capture rates.
  • Demand Up in ERCOT: ERCOT revised up its peak demand forecast by 3-6 GW across the forecast horizon, reflecting growth in LNG, oil and gas exploration, and chemical industry demand. This change contributed to an overall tightening of the supply/demand balance in ERCOT, resulting in higher ATC prices, lower wind and solar capture rates, and more weather-driven volatility.
  • ERCOT Near-Term Solar Installations Increased: Mostly due to 2022 realized additions exceeding expectations, baseline solar capacity by 2025 is about 5 GW higher than our previous release. This increase contributed to increased wind capture rates and reduced solar capture rates in the near term.
  • Congestion Tightened: Model refinements led to increased hub-to-hub congestion in ERCOT, with near-term forecasted values consistent with recent observations. On a 10-year forecasted average basis, Houston Hub ATC prices now exceed Panhandle Hub by about $9/MWh.

If you are a forecast customer of REsurety, this report is included in your service. If you’re interested in learning more about REsurety, this report, and other products and services, please reach out to [email protected].

About the author

David Luke Oates leads REsurety’s Power Markets Research team. His team builds, tests, and deploys fundamentals and statistical models of electricity prices and emissions to support customer workflows. David Luke has over a decade of experience working in the electric power sector from positions in academia, consulting, and technology. Before joining REsurety, he was a consultant at The Brattle Group, supporting electricity market operators, utilities, and asset owners to address market design, asset valuation, and regulatory questions.

Dr. Oates holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from Queen’s University, Canada.

GreenFin 23

REsurety is excited to be joining a panel with other industry leaders.

Greenfin: The Premiere Sustainable Finance and Investing Event, June 26-28, 2023 at The Omni Seaport, Boston, MA.

REsurety will be attending the GreenFin 23 event on June 26-28 in Boston. REsurety’s Co-Founder and CEO, Lee Taylor, will be on the panel, Going Beyond Megawatt Hour Matching on June 26th at 4:00 pm, along with Amazon, HASI, and Putnam Investments. Learn more about the session below.

Title: Going Beyond Megawatt Hour Matching

The release of the Scope 2 Guidance in 2015 coincided with significant growth in corporate voluntary procurement. It has been foundational to corporate decarbonization strategies ever since.

Corporate buyers, developers, NGOs and investors are ready to embrace an accounting framework that moves beyond the current approach of megawatt-hour matching to focus on emissions impact. Is it time to update corporate emissions accounting standards to ensure that clean energy investments maximize electricity decarbonization?

Session Speakers:
Faraz Ahmad, Head of Net Zero Grid, Amazon
Chad Reed, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and ESG, HASI
Katherine Collins, Head of Sustainable Investing, Putnam Investments
Lee Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO, REsurety

Learn more here.

If you haven’t registered yet, register to attend the event here.

About the event

Despite ESG frameworks and rankings’ imperfections, they are impacting billions of investments. And, hundreds of trillions more are needed to realize a just transition to a decarbonized global economy.

GreenFin 23 will convene an influential audience of finance, investment and sustainability professionals to share insights, address key challenges and showcase leading sustainable financial products and services.

Access the agenda for the entire event here.

CohnReznick 10th Renewable Energy Summit

REsurety’s Lee Taylor will be joining the panel, Risk in the new age

REsurety will be attending the CohnReznick Renewable Energy Summit on June 14-16 in Dana Point, CA. REsurety’s Co-Founder and CEO, Lee Taylor, will be joining the panel, Risk in the new age on June 16th at 9:15 am PT. Learn more about the session below.

Title: Risk in the new age

The energy transition will play out in a market rife with risk, including global economic uncertainty, inflation, supply-chain disruptions, tariff threats, permitting delays, and transmission bottlenecks. How can market participants reduce risk while maximizing returns on investment?

This panel will examine the risk impact of changing market conditions including:

  • Volatility in power pricing
    • What happens if more renewables or storage is built than expected?
    • Inversion of on-peak and off-peak pricing?
  • Supply chain disruptions and U.S. ramp up
    • How are developers responding to continued rise in inflation and AD/CVD issues, and how are they finding/financing new module suppliers?
    • How to meet expectations for buildout of new domestic production?
  • Disruption in the banking market: Impact on tax capacity/debt markets and overall sector

Session Speakers:
Michael Tatarsky, Managing Director, CohnReznick Capital
Lee Taylor, Co-Founder and CEO, REsurety

About the event

CohnReznick and CohnReznick Capital are thrilled to host the 10th Annual Renewable Energy Summit and celebrate a decade of ocean-side deal-making at the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel. This flagship, invite-only event uniting leading financiers, developers, and power generators shaping the energy transition will be the most exciting to date. Get inspired, strengthen industry connections, and enjoy curated activities in an idyllic Southern California setting. We invite you to join us!

White Paper: Paths to Carbon Neutrality

Paths to Carbon Neutrality - A Comparison of Strategies for Tackling Corporate Scope II Carbon Emissions

A Comparison of Strategies for Tackling Corporate Scope II Carbon Emissions, published by Tabors Caramanis Rudkevich

White Paper: Paths to Carbon Neutrality - A Comparison of Strategies for Tackling Corporate Scope II Carbon Emissions, published by Tabors Caramanis Rudkevich

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive, comparative study covering a variety of factors impacting the cost and implementation of corporate clean energy procurement strategies.

Read the excerpt below to learn more.

Global climate change has pushed carbon emissions to the forefront of public scrutiny and scientific inquiry. Striving to reduce their net carbon footprint, large energy consumers have increasingly turned to renewable energy resources. These energy consumers have pioneered different approaches toward clean energy procurement, such as the RE100 initiative, Google’s 24/7 Carbon-Free Energy, Microsoft’s 100/100/0 vision, and the Emissions First partnership led by Meta and Amazon. This white paper examines different clean energy procurement strategies in terms of overall cost and effectiveness in carbon emissions reduction.

Using locational marginal emission rate (LMERs), we quantify the cost and carbon emissions impact of clean energy procurement strategies for corporate energy consumers with varying load shapes and within a variety of balancing authorities. We compare energy matching strategies against a strategy that directly accounts for carbon emissions, which we call carbon matching, for two different types of large electricity consumers in 5 different balancing authorities. Balancing authorities ranged from large ISO/RTOs (PJM and CAISO) to vertically integrated utility regions covering a regional (Duke Energy Carolinas) or municipal area (Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Portland General Electric). 

The results show the following:

  • Carbon matching, a strategy that directly accounts for carbon emissions using LMERs and ensures that avoided emissions are equal or greater than emissions attributable to load, is more cost-effective than any of energy matching strategies analyzed;
  • Energy matching does not guarantee reaching carbon neutrality;
  • Localized energy matching decreases carbon displacement efficiency;
  • Local energy matching may not be practical in certain regions, which could deter participation;
  • Hourly energy matching is the least efficient strategy at displacing carbon emissions, and its cost varies greatly depending on location

If you’d like to learn more about REsurety’s Location Marginal Emissions (LMEs) offerings, please contact us.

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Maximizing & Measuring Carbon Impact: How to Operationalize “Emissions First” Principles

Lee Taylor
Lee Taylor

REsurety’s Co-Founder and CEO, Lee Taylor, hosted the Agora Pod session, Maximizing & Measuring Carbon Impact: How to Operationalize “Emissions First” Principles at the 2023 CERAWeek conference in March. The session revolved around learning how marginal emissions data, which measures the carbon impact of consuming or generating energy at a given time and place, can be used to maximize the impact of clean energy investments, and to accurately measure that impact. Click the link below to watch a recording of the full session. Learn more about CERAWeek here.

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Tuck Energy Currents Podcast: The Impacts of Recent Legislation on Renewable Development

Lee Taylor
Lee Taylor

This podcast features REsurety’s Co-Founder and CEO, Lee Taylor, discussing his career journey leading to the founding of REsurety and the impacts of recent legislation on renewable development. There is also a full transcript with a PDF download option below.

Listen to the full podcast here or on Spotify.

Tuck Energy Currents is a student-led podcast from the Revers Center for Energy at the Tuck School of Business that explores career paths and contemporary topics across the energy industry.

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