Energy Trading & Risk Management: A better framework for making decisions is required to ensure earnings stability and shareholder value in the utilities industry.
Henry Fayne, Michael Gettings, Wes Mitchell, and Gary Vicinus
Although utilities are refocusing attention on their traditional utility businesses, it is clear that the traditional utility decision-making framework is not sufficiently robust to meet the needs of today's utility executive. An effective executive decision framework provides better answers in the complex utility environment that exists today.
Debate continues on how to safeguard America's energy infrastructure.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the central question: Could any of this have been avoided? Many experts believe that the new authority given to FERC to enforce mandatory reliability standards, as per the Energy Policy Act of 2005, will bring greater transparency to the process of protecting critical infrastructure.
(October 2005) Xcel Energy named Jacob P. Mercer assistant treasurer for the utility and its operating subsidiaries. Portland General Electric appointed Bill Valach director of investor relations. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher appointed John S. Moot as the commission's general counsel. PJM Interconnection has realigned responsibilities among five executives. And others...
The past year has allowed the North American power sector to continue its recovery, but it has been a treacherous time for investing. Asset values, and the value of their associated debt instruments, are being driven in the short term by an extreme fuel market and in the long term by a back-to-basics mindset among electric utilities. Still, asset valuations in most markets are not yet at replacement costs, leaving current investors with a residual level of risk.
The new chairman discusses the meaning of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Lori A. Burkhart
The wide-ranging Energy Policy Act of 2005, signed into law by President Bush Aug. 8, already is affecting the energy industry—and guaranteeing that FERC will be a very busy agency. Fortnightly asked FERC Chairman Joseph T. Kelliher what the future holds for the commission.
Can a single utility dispatch a regional grid system without a financial market?
Bruce W. Radford
Now comes Entergy’s pending plan to create an “Independent Coordinator of Transmission” to manage certain grid operations. On the surface, the plan would create independent accountability for the transmission grid, as called for in FERC Order No. 2000, with special attention paid to planning and expansion. Will the model work? Can it improve grid access for IPPs and reduce energy costs for Entergy’s ratepayers?
Whole-company deals may not take off with PUHCA repeal.
Edward Metz and Michael Tarney
One simple line in the recent Energy Policy Act sets the stage for broader geographical ownership by current utilities and easier ownership from outside industries. Readers know very well that one line calls for the repeal of the depression-era Public Utility Holding Company Act, and many pundits have stated that a wave of mergers and acquisition activity is now imminent.
"If you build it they will come" has not proven to be applicable for green-power programs. Utilities have to build their programs in the right way, with the right rewards and incentives—then the customers will come. If utilities do not do this, then the effort to expand renewable energy markets will suffer a great setback, one from which it will take many years to recover.
Chief financial officers discuss new strategies and the possibility of further convergence inside and outside the energy industry.
A whole new cast of characters is expected to enter the energy industry—overseas ventures, telecom firms, insurance companies, and financial-services groups. But even as the future seems to hold boundless opportunity, utility executives and industry experts continue to disagree on what sort of consolidation is right.
By opening the field to far-flung deals, PUHCA’s repeal changes the merger game.
Michael T. Burr
The repeal of the 1935 Public Utility Holding Company Act has attracted a surprising amount of attention in the business and consumer press. But while some analysts predict a wave of utility M&A activity, others are more sanguine about the change.
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