The $800 billion stimulus bill has spawned a feeding frenzy among would-be recipients of the money. Smart-grid technology companies, for example, are excited about the bill’s $4.5 billion in 50/50 matching grants to “modernize the electric grid.” However, not everybody is cheering.
Utility stocks historically have been a safe haven, a stable, long-term investment for widows and orphans. However, with banks collapsing and the economy falling into a recession, utility stocks as a whole recently have performed poorly, with our portfolio of 75 companies losing $200 billion in market value in 2008.
ITC and AEP jockey for the lead in building the grid of tomorrow.
Bruce W. Radford
On February 9, a group of the nation’s major grid system operators released a study estimating the nation’s electric industry sector needs to spend some $80 billion—more than 10 times the size of that portion of the Obama stimulus package directed specifically at transmission construction—in order to achieve a 20 percent retail penetration for renewable wind energy in just the Eastern Interconnection.
A step-by-step approach to intelligent rate design.
Ahmad Faruqui and Ryan Hledik
The advent of the smart grid is sparking interest in intelligent rate design. But while state and federal goals encourage more efficient rate structures, regulatory and political considerations complicate the process. Getting to a next-generation rate design will require a phased transition.
Achieving the smart grid’s potential requires a revolution in electricity pricing.
Achieving the smart grid’s potential requires a revolution in electricity pricing. Smart metering and smart rates might yield surprising and beneficial changes in the U.S. utility industry. But capturing those benefits will require an intelligent and careful approach to implementing dynamic pricing.
Today’s urgent challenges will reshape the industry. Companies that successfully renew themselves will find the solution in assets they already possess, but have failed to exploit. The future winners will navigate a steady course through troubled markets while preparing for disruptive trends.
The real reasons behind the state’s energy savings.
Cynthia Mitchell, et al.
In 2006, the California legislature and governor positioned energy conservation and efficiency as the cornerstone of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act. The Act mandates a 2020 statewide limit on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels. Compliance will be nothing short of Herculean: California will have to reduce per capita energy usage in a manner that accommodates continued brisk population growth and protects the state’s economy from economic dislocations and recessionary pressures.
Hawaiian Electric Industries named James A. Ajello senior financial v.p., treasurer and CFO. Black Hills Corp. selected Robert A. Myers as senior v.p. of human resources. Constellation Energy appointed Carim V. Khouzami as executive director, investor relations. And others...
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