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.
(December 2005) Mark Mulhern joins Progress Energy’s senior management committee and Bob Adrian is vice president of competitive commercial operations within the Ventures organization. The California Independent System Operator board of governors approved the appointment of Karen Edson to the position of vice president of external affairs. DTE Energy announced a series of organizational changes. The Southern California Edison board of directors elected John R. Fielder president.
High reserve margins and blackout risk are part of the extended forecast.
The Western Electricity Coordinating Council continues to experience a glut of generation and historically high levels of generating reserve margins. Despite these reserve margins, state and federal regulators are asserting that all is not well, and that rolling blackouts may return.
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