Calendar of Events

Apr 28, 2014 | New York, NY
May 05, 2014 to May 08, 2014 | Las Vegas, Nevada

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Public Utilities Reports

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DOE

Capital Conundrum

The Big Build will test the industry’s access to Wall Street.

Bob Ford, et al.

The era of easily available, affordable energy rapidly is ending and our society is realizing that our energy infrastructure is severely inadequate to supply the energy demands of the future. The major issue facing the sector today is how to fund and deliver this new climate-friendly infrastructure, which is currently estimated will cost almost $2 trillion between now and 2030.

Biofuel Furor

Will power plants get caught in ethanol’s food fight?

Lori A. Burkhart

The debate over food vs. fuel never has been louder. Using corn to make the biofuel ethanol is perhaps the best known point of argument. Everyone is asking: Should the United States require a certain percentage of U.S. corn crops be turned into fuel in the face of global food shortages and exorbitant food prices? And what are the effects of diverting food croplands into producing fuel?

Building the iUtility

Market forces are transforming the IOU business model.

Joseph P. Tomain

As market forces transform the IOU business model, Apple’s iPhone provides a metaphor and possible example for the industry to follow. The iUtility will emerge as companies renegotiate the regulatory compact and reinterpret the traditional rate formula.

Is Yucca Enough?

Scenarios depict possible nuclear waste futures.

Greg Turk and Tom Sweet

Nuclear-waste management is a multi-billion dollar problem, and the future of nuclear power will depend on its resolution. Four scenarios depict possible outcomes and impacts on the electric power industry.

Navigating Nuclear Risks

New approaches to contracting in a post-turnkey world.

Tom Flaherty et al.

Sponsors of new nuclear power projects face a gauntlet of development challenges, from fickle regulatory policies to supply chain uncertainties. By preemptively addressing risks and taking a systematic, hands-on approach to development, companies can improve chances for a nuclear renaissance in America.

Energy Technology: Cultivating Clean Tech

New Models for Energy RD&D: A new ‘Clean Energy Institute’ could lead the industry’s war on climate change.

John A. Bewick

Clean-energy R&D needs better funding and leadership to meet aggressive greenhouse-gas emissions reduction targets. But how does the industry get there, and what management model best suits achieving such lofty goals? A new ‘clean-energy institute’ might be the answer.

Capacity Markets Demystified

Emerging capacity auctions offer limited but valuable risk-management tools for asset owners.

Mark Griffith

Fast forward to today’s partially deregulated electric power markets. Wholesale electric energy often is traded in various central markets, as well as among individuals in bilateral transactions. Wholesale electric energy prices largely are deregulated, and clearly, over the past decade, market participants have become adept at routinely charging much more than their variable production costs. This “rent extraction,” as economists commonly call it, can take various forms, and while the mechanism for achieving it can be complicated, the evidence is quite clear that today’s wholesale electricity prices typically are higher than the variable costs of most or even all suppliers.

Death of a Turkey

DOE’s move to ‘restructure’ FutureGen clears the way for more rational R&D.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

When President Bush announced the FutureGen initiative halfway through his first term, industry veterans instinctively understood its purpose. Nominally a public-private partnership to build a “zero-emissions” coal-fired power plant, FutureGen stood as a symbol for the administration’s climate-change strategy. It helped the government argue mandatory carbon constraints were unnecessary, because America will develop more green technology than any other country in the world.

Financing New Nukes

Federal loan guarantees raise hopes for new reactors planned by affiliates of Constellation and NRG.

Scott M. Gawlicki

Federal loan guarantees have been unleashed to support new nuclear plant construction. Will this be the watershed event that finally gets nuclear moving forward in the United States?

Cyber Attack! CIP Goes Live

Utilities are gearing up for cyber security compliance. Will the standards prove worthy?

Michael T. Burr

The NERC CIP standards represent an historic achievement. They include the first mandatory cyber security requirements of their kind to be imposed on a U.S. private-sector industry. Considering the scope and sensitivity of the grid-security issue, developing a set of enforceable standards inevitably would entail a complex and contentious process. From that perspective, NERC, FERC and the industry have made remarkable progress, and their efforts deserve accolades.

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