Partner
Nancy Ryan

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Dr. Nancy Ryan is an economist who focuses on GHG mitigation policy, electricity regulation, and transportation electrification at E3, and handles much of its regulatory and business strategy work. She has spent her career working for effective, data-driven energy solutions as a consultant, a regulator, an academic, and an environmental advocate—personifying the 360-degree industry perspective that guides all of E3’s work.

Nancy’s multifaceted career honed her ability to synthesize and translate complex information into plain English, a talent she puts to work for E3 clients and the energy stakeholders E3 works with. She also educates leaders in other industries, such as transportation, that experience the effects of changes in the energy landscape, and she has taught regulatory policy and cost-benefit analysis at the University of California and the University of British Columbia.

Nancy joined E3 in 2013 after working for seven years with the California Public Utilities Commission. She was appointed a commissioner by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, serving from 2010 to 2011. She also served as deputy executive director for policy and external relations and chief of staff to the president, working closely with policy makers, regulators, and stakeholders in areas such as renewable energy, the smart grid, electric transportation, and the implementation of cap and trade for the electric sector. Her career also includes five years at the Environmental Defense Fund, where she focused on energy and climate policy and dabbled in water. She also held positions at several consulting firms.

Nancy finds E3 a natural fit for her background, and she respects the intelligence and integrity of her colleagues. She likes working at E3 because the firm is making a difference, helping clients make informed decisions that matter to the public, investors, and the environment.

Education: PhD, economics, University of California, Berkeley; BA, economics, Yale University

Projects

Deep Decarbonization in a High Renewables Future: Updated Results from the California PATHWAYS model | CEC, 2015–2018

This project evaluates long-term energy scenarios in California through 2050 using the California PATHWAYS model. These scenarios investigate options and costs to achieve a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. Ten mitigation scenarios are evaluated, with each […]

Publications

Modeling California’s 50 Percent Renewables Portfolio Standard

In early 2013, California’s five largest electric utilities needed to find out how grid operations would be affected if the state increased its Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50 percent by 2030. They turned to E3 to examine operational and cost implications, explore how the utilities could reach the 50 percent RPS goal, and assess […]

Investigating a higher RPS for California | LADWP, PG&E, SMUD, SDG&E, and SCE, 2013–14

On behalf of California’s five largest electric utilities, E3 evaluated the challenges, costs, and potential solutions for achieving a 50 percent renewables portfolio standard (RPS) by 2030. Using our Renewable Energy Flexibility Model (REFLEX), we performed detailed operational studies of power system dispatch flexibility constraints under high levels of wind and solar generation. We found that achieving a 50 percent RPS is feasible and that California’s power system can remain reliable as long as renewable resources can be dispatched in response to grid needs. Our study recommended strategies for integrating higher levels of renewables, including greater regional coordination, renewables portfolio diversity, flexible generation capacity, flexible loads, and energy storage. We found that deploying these strategies would reduce the need to curtail renewables, lowering the cost of reaching 50 percent RPS.

Publications

Regulatory strategy for EV infrastructure pilot | Southern California Edison, 2014

E3 assisted Southern California Edison (SCE) in developing the policy case for its successful application to the California Public Utilities Commission to pilot a ratepayer-funded plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) infrastructure program and education effort. Envisioned as the first phase of a five-year program, the Charge Ready initiative will accelerate the buildout of charging infrastructure by preparing host sites and providing rebates to defray the cost of charging equipment. SCE will recruit hosts in multifamily buildings, workplaces, and disadvantaged communities to ensure that charging is available to a broad spectrum of potential PEV owners. E3 provided supporting analysis, which showed that increasing PEV adoption by 2030 is essential to achieving California’s long-term GHG mitigation goals. SCE also relied on E3’s cost-benefit analysis to show that PEV adoption yields net economic and ratepayer benefits. In January 2016, the CPUC authorized SCE to proceed with the pilot program.

Feasibility and cost of potential 2030 GHG reduction goals | CARB, CEC, CPUC, CAISO, 2014

The California Air Resources Board, California Energy Commission, California Public Utilities Commission, California ISO, and governor’s office engaged E3 to evaluate the feasibility and cost of potential 2030 GHG targets. We focused on emission reduction strategies through 2030, with an eye toward meeting the state’s 2050 GHG reduction goal. Using our PATHWAYS model, we developed several scenarios that varied the mix of low-carbon technologies and the timing of deployment. PATHWAYS is a stock-and-flow model that encompasses the entire state economy with detailed representations of the building, industrial, transportation, and electricity sectors. E3 team members briefed Gov. Jerry Brown and members of the legislature on the results. Our work informed the governor’s Executive Order B-30-15, which calls for a 40 percent reduction in statewide GHG emissions by 2030 relative to 1990 levels. California agencies are using our results in ongoing implementation analysis of the state’s climate goals.

Publications

Transportation electrification assessment | CalETC, 2014–16

E3 analyzed the grid impacts of charging light-, medium-, and heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs) for the California Electric Transportation Coalition (CalETC), a consortium of automakers and utilities. To quantify the distribution system upgrades needed to accommodate residential charging of light-duty EVs, we mapped vehicle registration data with utility distribution system and load data for more than 81,000 circuits and feeders and 2,200 substations; we then modeled costs under different rate and charging scenarios.

Even with clustered EV adoption, distribution impacts were modest, and we found that managed charging reduced distribution upgrade costs by 60 percent. For most technologies studied, we showed that EV adoption can actually reduce rates for utility customers while providing net economic, environmental, and societal benefits for California. CalETC’s member utilities used our study to educate regulators and stakeholders about the benefits of EV adoption prior to seeking authorization to invest ratepayer funds in charging infrastructure and customer outreach.

Publications


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