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Fortnightly Magazine - April 2007

One Nation, Two Markets

EEI’s David K. Owens seeks incremental improvements to competitive markets.

Michael T. Burr

For a front-line perspective on FERC’s policy direction, we asked one of the industry’s most prominent policy representatives, David K. Owens at the Edison Electric Institute, to provide his take on FERC’s competition conference and Order 890.

PJM Addresses Local Supply Issues

Electric shortages and the generation overbuild continue to co-exist.

Hind Farag

While maintaining its stance as the most sophisticated competitive electricity market in the country, PJM still faces several challenges, all of which are augmented by its expanded footprint. Most prominent is the RTO’s plan to implement a new reliability pricing model. Further, parts of PJM are ailing from transmission congestion issues that limit access to abundant, cheap power sources in the region.

Merger Frenzy

KKR’s leveraged buyout of TXU might be the first of many private-equity M&A deals, but traditional utility mergers also will increase.

Richard Stavros

Utility mergers and acquisitions took a turn when private-equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Texas Pacific Group bid for TXU. Experts from Morgan Stanley, Lazard, and JP Morgan describe the M&A universe.

A View on the TXU Leveraged Buyout

Is power a public good or a private goodie?

Mark T. Williams

Professor Mark T. Williams goes in depth on the TXU leveraged buyout.

Three-Dimensional Price Forecasting

Using the past, present, and future to optimize our understanding of today’s energy markets.
By Andy Dunn

Price forecasting is a significant business process within any energy merchant that trades electricity and natural gas. Business planning, trading, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), even rate-case activities rely upon some type of a price forecast as the foundation to analysis.

The problem with a single forecast is that it never is correct. As soon as the forecast is complete, the world changes and the information becomes dated and often even irrelevant.

Greening the Grid

Can markets co-exist with renewable mandates?

Bruce W. Radford

Part way through the Feb. 27 conference on electric competition, it was so quiet you could hear a hockey puck slide across the ice. No, hell had not frozen over. Rather, it was Commissioner Marc Spitzer, who had found a clever story to ease the tension and allay fears that FERC somehow might want to undo the sins of the past, and give up its dream of workable markets for wholesale power.

LNG: Desperately Seeking Supply

Several new LNG plants are under construction, but firm supplies remain scarce. Will empty terminals alleviate gas-price pressures?

Michael T. Burr

To better understand the evolving outlook for LNG and its role in the U.S. gas market, Fortnightly assembled a group of LNG specialists with various perspectives on the issues.

Natural-Gas Revenue Decoupling: Good for the Utility, or for Consumers?

Among a host of arguments for and against RD is the question of upside for consumers.

Ken Costello

Retaining adequate earnings is the driving motive for revenue decoupling (RD) among gas utilities, while conservationists view RD as necessary for the removal of resistance to energy efficiency. But the benefits of RD to consumers are less certain.

A New World of Risks

A new set of skills and expertise will be necessary to deal with the risks created by new government mandates, new market developments, and new energy technologies.

Richard Stavros

Experts say a new set of skills and expertise will be necessary to manage the risk created by new government mandates, new market developments, and new energy technologies.

Penalty Shot

An interpretation of FERC’s first application of EPACT.

William F. Hederman Jr.

At its open meeting on Jan. 18, 2007, FERC unanimously approved settlements with five electric utilities for a total of $22.5 million and other considerations. This action answers some important questions that energy market participants have been asking. In particular, it helps market participants connect some important dots regarding the regulatory landscape in which they must operate, but it also raises important questions that market participants would like answered.

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