Pressure for national legislation builds as the Northeastern U.S. goes it alone and carbon trading takes off in the European Union.
Domestic and international pressures are building rapidly on the United States to enact some form of legislation to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, as a spate of recent developments turns up the heat on the Bush administration. Internal pressure is building on several fronts
The states are getting into the act on greenhouse emissions, and the power industry is getting more proactive. What policy measures are appropriate?
Sanne B. Jacobsen, Neil J. Numark And Paloma Sarria
Proponents of mandatory carbon limits – though increasing in number – still constitute a minority within the utility industry. Most utilities prefer voluntary greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions reductions, or take the view that CO2 should not be considered a pollutant at all.
The UK offers a model for renewable energy growth.
The United Kingdom stands at the forefront of renewable energy market development. The 2002 Renewables Obligation sets out a progressive strategy for achieving environmental protection, energy reliability and a competitive marketplace for industry and investment. The goals are ambitious: generating 10 percent of total UK electricity supply from renewable sources by 2010; 15.4 percent by 2015; and 20 percent by 2020.
Several hurdles remain to further liberalization and full competition in the electricity sector.
Bridgett Neely & A.J. Goulding
Two major trends can be observed in Europe’s electricity sector. First, the increasing importance of private-sector participation in a sector that was traditionally viewed as belonging to the state. The second major trend in Europe is that of the massive amount of merger and acquisition activity across the continent. At the same time, several hurdles remain to further liberalization and full competition in the European electricity sector.
An analysis of competitive power markets finds that oligopolies are the end game for liberalized power markets.
Dr. Anthony White, MBE
The British wholesale power market is about to enter a new phase. Having enjoyed a long period of surplus capacity, the combination of the forced retirement of some nuclear plant and continued demand growth is likely to lead to a capacity shortage within the next three to four years, and it is by no means clear whether the market, as it currently operates, will be able to maintain secure supplies.
What happens when economists and state regulators give up on electric restructuring?
It’s not to be taken lightly when several high-profile economists reverse themselves on electric competition—giving up on policies they had pushed for years. It’s also quite serious when regulators and legislators in pro-competitive states become willing to discuss a repeal of electric restructuring laws. These developments, seen over the fast few months, have set the industry buzzing.
New Opportunities: Dynegy Inc. announced that Carolyn M. Campbell has been named group general counsel-corporate finance & securities, and corporate secretary. Campbell joins Dynegy from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
State-mandated renewable portfolio standards are being adopted across the country to facilitate the development of renewable energy projects. Nineteen states have enacted renewable portfolio standards, but significant barriers remain to fulfill the potential of RPS. Will RPS actually result in a substantial amount of new project construction?
States will play a significant role in the resurgence of nuclear power plants in America.
Joe F. Colvin
At times, various conditions align and set the stage for achieving goals that may have appeared to be unreachable. Last summer, the Boston Red Sox were all but eliminated from contention, but then won an amazing stretch of baseball games that resulted in a World Series championship.
A similar scenario can be applied to the U.S. nuclear industry-producer of a steady, low-cost, environmentally important electricity source poised to thrive with the possibility of new plant construction in the not-so-distant future.
FERC may have to carve out a special set of rules if it wants to bring Arctic gas south to the lower-48.
Bruce W. Radford
When President Bush signed the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act of 2004, one might have thought that North Slope gas was on the fast track. With all the special provisions that Congress has added to the bill, the reality may prove otherwise.
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