How to prepare for killer capital costs on future power-plant builds.
Mark Twain once wrote: “A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back when it starts to rain.” If utility finance executives aren’t careful, they might find themselves caught in the rain without an umbrella.
If transmission can substitute for gen-plant capacity, why not clear both products in the same auction?
Bruce W. Radford
PJM applied to FERC for authority to impose a new regime of requirements for reserves of electric generating capacity. This new construct, known as the reliability pricing model (RPM), would replace PJM’s current capacity market.
The battle for the future of coal-fired power is heating up. Recent developments give IGCC a fighting chance.
Michael T. Burr
Does the future belong to pulverized coal or integrated gasification combined-cycle technologies? The answer will determine how the industry manages load growth and regulatory risks, while protecting shareholders and ratepayers.
Jonathan A. Lesser, Ph.D. and Guillermo Israilevich, Ph.D.
Capacity and energy, although related, are not identical products. If we are to continue to rely on competitive market forces to provide new generation supplies, we need separate, long-term, installed capacity markets.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 ducks three crucial issues: volatile prices and fuel supplies; insufficient, erratic capital investment in generation and transmission; and energy commodity pricing. What should policymakers do now?
Regulators and Utilities: The Ball’s in Your Court
Are the smart-metering provisions of EPACT 2005 a good thing? The answer, like most things in life, is, “It depends.” Looked at holistically, the opportunity is great. Viewed incrementally, it’s empty words on paper. It’s up to regulators and utilities to take the initiative.
How they can generate green energy and improve a municipality’s bottom line.
Dr. Gary C. Young, Ken V. Rieck, and Clifford Phillips
Federal incentive payment of 1.8 cents/kWh for the generation of renewable energy—part of The Energy Policy Act of 2005—increases the economic attractiveness of many potential hydro sites, and, as a consequence, could revive the building of low-head dams.
Utilities and financiers want ratepayers to fund the next wave of power plants. Will higher electric rates spoil the party?
Richard Stavros, Executive Editor
You’ve heard the story. The local utility ought to be investing billions in new power plants, but the company CEO wants a guarantee from regulators for upfront costs and future operating expenses before laying down dollar one on the project. What to do? Utility CEOs attending the Edison Electric Institute’s 40th Financial Conference last month in Hollywood, Fla., were shuffling to the old rate base song-and-dance. But this time, they were working out a few new moves.
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