Original-cost ratemaking doesn’t suit the challenges facing utilities today.
A. Lawrence Kolbe, Philip Q Hanser, Bin Zhou
Levelized rates can serve customers’ interests, while also accelerating capital investment and providing an economic stimulus to the economy.
Delivering value in a zero-growth market.
Kelly P. Gallant, Timothy P. Porter, Jack Azagury
Disruptive technologies and resource shifts are changing the utility business model. Market factors are driving companies toward four possible paths.
More planning, fewer incentives, and a black swan on the horizon.
The transmission superhighway still needs major investments. Rate incentives were working -- until FERC started backing away from them. FERC should assert its authority more aggressively to promote the vision of a robust interstate grid.
Only behavioral change will reduce energy consumption.
Standards and technology don't reduce energy consumption, despite the claims of efficiency zealots. Real energy savings only come through behavioral change.
Lessons from New England on electric-gas market coordination.
Despite the hype about cheap gas, pipeline constraints are creating new risks. New England’s wholesale power prices ran three times as high this past February compared to the same month in 2012.
A regulatory model for resource parity between supply and demand.
Brian Hedman and Jill Steiner
Integrated resource planning must level the field for both supply- and demand-side resources. Commissions in several states are showing the way.
Five forces are putting the squeeze on electricity consumption.
Ahmad Faruqui and Eric Shultz
It’s tempting to attribute the recent slowdown in electricity demand growth entirely to the Great Recession, but consumption growth rates have been declining for at least 50 years. The new normal rate of demand growth likely will be about half of its historic value, with demand rising by less than 1 percent per year. This market plateau calls for a new utility strategy.
How suppliers and generators can each gain from today’s historic low prices.
Gregory C. Staple & Patrick Bean
Gas-fired generators and suppliers alike can each share risk and reward from historic low prices with contracts that blend market and fixed prices
Renewable M&A lives on despite death of Treasury cash grants.
Brian Boufarah and Marlene Motyka
The U.S. Treasury cash grants for new renewable power projects expired at the end of 2011. These incentives, which were implemented under Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, helped to support continued capacity additions throughout the recession. The impending expiration of these grants caused a wave of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity during 2011 as developers and financiers rushed to get deals done and to begin construction in order to meet the Section 1603, 5-percent safe harbor threshold by the Dec. 31, 2011 deadline.
Unforeseen consequences of dedicated renewable energy transmission.
Roger H. Bezdek and Robert M. Wendling
Achieving aggressive renewable energy goals will require building thousands of miles of new transmission lines, and these so-called “green-power superhighways” could bring major new sources of low-cost electricity into the market. But will those sources be renewables? Analysts Roger Bezdek and Robert Wendling argue that with new access to distant wholesale markets, coal-fired generation would become more competitive than ever.