Calendar of Events

Nov 24, 2014 | Washington, DC
Dec 08, 2014 to Dec 09, 2014 | Washington, DC
Jan 14, 2015 to Jan 16, 2015 | San Diego, CA

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Public Utilities Reports

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EPA

2025: A Murky Mix

Which power technologies will dominate?

David J. Walls, John Higgins and Steven Tobias

U.S. power-plant construction tends to follow fads. Identifying these trends is easier than determining the primary drivers and issues that contributed to them. Understanding how these drivers affect power-planning decisions can help utilities predict generation-construction trends in the future and avoid getting caught in a group-think trap.

Biomass Fuel Foibles

Fuel-supply risks stunt the growth of biomass power.

Elizabeth Striano

Utilities can meet state renewable portfolio standards—and reduce greenhouse gases—by burning biomass fuel. Whether utilities are prepared to jump into the biomass game, however, depends on how effectively they can manage fuel risks.

The Wonderful Curse

Production constraints and demand pressures mean high gas prices are here to stay.

George Given and Gary L. Hunt

Volatility in energy prices is both a scary and wonderful thing. It brings risks that must be managed under uncertain future conditions. It also brings opportunities to profit from price movement and competitive market advantages exploited through strategy, skill and luck. Just how good the outcome of such volatility can be depends on how well each market participant studies the fundamentals, manages uncertainty and remains flexible.

Hot-Potato Policy

DOE loan guarantees degenerate into a political game.

Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief

Once upon a time, the U.S. Congress started a game of hot potato. The potato, otherwise known as the EPAct Title XVII Loan Guarantee Program, has been bouncing around Washington, D.C., since 2005. But now that the industry is getting a good look at the potato, it looks decidedly funky—stuffed with caveats and half-measures. Whether that’s good or bad depends largely on whether you believe the government belongs in the potato game in the first place.

Regulators Forum: Restructuring Rollback

State-policy turmoil reshapes utility markets.

Lori A. Burkhart

As many states move toward re-regulation, we speak to commissioners in Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia to learn how policies are evolving—and how far the regulatory shakeup will go

Messing With Texas

Armed with calls for gas price transparency, FERC takes aim at intrastate pipelines—the long-forgotten and largely private preserve of the Lone Star State.

Bruce W. Radford

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has proposed to bring a modicum of federal oversight to the nation’s intrastate natural-gas pipelines. Given the historical structure and regulation of the nation’s natural-gas industry, it should come as no surprise that FERC’s proposal has polarized the industry in general and the state of Texas in particular.

Transmission Line-Siting Under EPACT: Shortcut or Short Circuit?

The 2005 Act, designed to streamline projects, may fall short of that goal.

David B. MacGregor and Matthew J. Agen

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was supposed to streamline the siting process and provide a federal “trump card” for projects delayed at the local level, but it is far from clear whether these goals have been, or will be, achieved.

Nuclear vs. IGCC

Next-gen technologies race to dominate the big build.

Michael T. Burr

New nuke plants will take at least eight years to complete, while the coal that powers new IGCC plants is no longer cheap. Regulatory and market obstacles confront both technologies, just as they emerge from the starting gate. Which type of plant will win the future?

Clean Air Rules: A New Roadmap for the Power Sector

How new market-based regulations fit with today’s programs.

Sam Napolitano, Melanie LaCount, James O. Lee, Beth Murray, Mary Shellabarger, and Sam Waltzer

What do the Clean Air Interstate Rule, the Clean Air Mercury Rule, and the Clean Air Visibility Rule require of the power sector? Authors from the Environmental Protection Agency review implementation progress.

The New Balance of Power

Do states have any rights in siting LNG terminals?

William A. Mogel and Shuchi Batra

Natural gas often is called the world’s most perfect fuel. And since it can be transported as liquefied natural gas (LNG), and, as LNG, is projected to meet 20 percent of the country’s natural-gas requirements by 2025, the construction of onshore LNG terminals is crucial for the United States. Siting of LNG terminals is contentious as states and a range of stakeholders challenge and seek to frustrate FERC’s permitting authority.

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