Ron Binz To Head the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


It appears that another one of my wishes was just granted: a progressive force in the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. If FERC chief nominee Ron Binz lives up to what I’ve read about him, he really is the man for the job, as he appears to be both willing and able to rewrite the way utilities are regulated, paving the way for a far more aggressive tack vis-à-vis energy efficiency and renewables.

One of Binz’ recent projects, “Utilities 2020” is summarized:

As practiced today, regulation provides limited motivation for utilities to innovate, diversify to manage risks, or to undertake new efficiencies. Meaningful dialogue among utilities, regulators and other stakeholders is often difficult. And frustrated utility executives and customers often take their cases to state legislatures, with predictably imperfect results.

The time is ripe to explore a revised compact among utilities, regulators and the consumers they serve. Through a series of in-depth discussions with executives, regulators, and consumer and industry thought leaders, we will explore evolving utility business models and the regulatory designs needed to transform them. The goal of this project is nothing less than changing the way utilities and their regulators think and behave.

Apparently Binz stands ready to craft a wholesale rethinking of the way we incent and regulate our power utilities – an absolute requirement if the U.S. is to make progress in clean energy.

And the solar industry positively loves the guy. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) writes:

President Obama has made an outstanding choice to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Ron Binz has the experience and vision needed to help America ramp up the transition to clean energy sources, including solar. He also has a keen understanding of both the regulatory process and the complexities of today’s electricity distribution system. What’s more, he has been a true champion over the years of energy efficiency, renewable energy and the need to embrace innovative new technologies. SEIA applauds his choice to become FERC chairman, and we look forward to working with him on ways to expand solar deployment across the United States.

Wow, it really has been a good week around here.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.


  1. We need someone in FERC who realizes that we have only one chance in “our” lifetime to make a difference for our environment.

    America cannot exist without Energy. The Goal has to be to Power America as Efficiently as is possible, with the least amount of damage to our grand kids and great grand kids environment.

    What Energy Source Consumed Efficiently will do the most to Reduce Global Warming and CO2 Emissions, and will even help to Conserve Water?

    Natural Gas

    Natural gas can be consumed to near 100% Energy Efficiency. With the technology of Condensing Flue Gas Heat Recovery the heat energy can be recovered from the exhaust, and then utilized in other processes efficiently.

    The CO2 can be recovered from the COOLED exhaust and converted into other products or converted onsite to OXYGEN.

    The WATER created during this Condensing flue gas heat recovery process can be utilized efficiently on site, or treated and bottled.

    How many full time Green Jobs can be created making something out of this Recovered Heat Energy?

    What can this do for our Economy?

    What will this do for our Environment?

    America needs all methods of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency if we are going to be able to do anything to combat this thing called Climate Change, and we can’t wait.

  2. A couple of quick question for Mr. ‘X’. (I don’t know how else to address someone that writes articles like this, but will not attach their name to it). What degree, or background, do you have in the energy / utility field? And do you consider yourself a socialist, a communist, or some other type of failed political party member? Thank you.