Price transparency will drive GHG reductions.
Fred Wellington and Michael Scholand
In light of coming GHG legislation, price transparency is the key to achieving cleaner generation through the dispatch of lower-carbon sources.
Renewables attract utility investment dollars.
New federal policies have opened the gates to utility investments in renewable generating plants. Some states, however, still make it difficult for utilities to put such assets into the rate base. Executives at Duke, OG&E, PG&E and Xcel Energy discuss challenges and opportunities affecting their renewable investment strategies.
New business models make energy storage attractive.
Utilities are leaving no stone unturned in their search for ways to save electricity. Federal incentives will support new technologies and projects, but can those incentives overcome structural barriers that stand in the way of major efficiency improvements? editors explore challenges and opportunities arising from the new efficiency mandate.
Distributed solar modules are gaining ground on concentrated solar thermal plants.
Jonathan Lesser and Nicolas Puga
Photovoltaic technologies are beginning to appear more attractive than concentrated solar thermal plants. PV’s competitiveness is improving from technical and operational advancements, as well as significant commitments made by such utilities as Southern California Edison. In the long run, distributed central PV plants likely will gain a strong market position.
Utilities can transform the world’s energy economy.
Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief
Perceval’s sagas are largely forgotten today, but at least one of them serves as a useful metaphor for an industry seeking the proverbial Holy Grail of clean-energy technology—specifically, the tale of Perceval and the Fisher King.
Emerging capacity auctions offer limited but valuable risk-management tools for asset owners.
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.
American Electric Power named Michael Rencheck senior vice president and chief nuclear officer for its D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Mich. The American Public Power Association elected Roger B. Kelley to its board of directors. OGE Energy Corp. named Danny P. Harris as COO. Glen Justis joined Deloitte & Touche LLP as a director in the global energy markets group of the organization’s regulatory and capital markets practice. And others...
FERC would relax price caps—sending rates skyward—to encourage customers to curtail loads.
About four months ago, at a conference at Stanford University’s Center for International Development, the economist and utility industry expert Frank Wolak turned heads with a not-so-new but very outrageous idea.
(September 2007) DPL Inc. promoted Bryce Nickel to vice president of transmission and distribution operations. DPL also announced the promotion of Kevin Hall to director, transmission and distribution engineering. MDU Resources Group Inc. promoted Cynthia J. Norland, assistant vice president of administration, to vice president of administration. Portland General Electric Co. named Jay Dudley vice president, general counsel, and compliance officer. And others...
Next-gen technologies race to dominate the big build.
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?