ITC and AEP jockey for the lead in building the grid of tomorrow.
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.
How a move to bring power markets to the Great Plains has uncovered a crisis in grid planning.
They call the United States the “Saudi Arabia of Wind.” That’s due in large part to the huge potential of the Great Plains. But there’s a hole in the metaphor. Wind power development in some parts of the prairie is falling short of expectations.
Green investments require bulletproof financing.
Originally developed to compensate U.S. electric utilities for regulatory assets rendered uneconomic by deregulation, so-called “stranded-cost” securitization techniques are finding new applications. To date, utilities have issued approximately $40 billion of stranded-cost securitizations. That number could increase dramatically if the industry applies well-tested securitization techniques to the extraordinary costs it faces in the future.
By abandoning R&D and marketing, the gas industry may have sealed its own fate.
Gas producers and utilities have all but abandoned R&D and marketing. Is it too late to reverse the death spiral, or can the industry learn from other check-off marketing successes?
Wall Street sees “green” in demand response, energy efficiency, and distributed generation. Will the industry step up?
We recently conducted research to evaluate whether innovative solutions for meeting future energy needs such as demand response (DR), energy efficiency (EE), and alternative distributed generation (DG) (e.g., photovoltaic cells, wind, energy storage) could become a sustainable and viable part of the future energy infrastructure.
How utilities can navigate critical infrastructure protection requirements.
Scott Vanek and Mark Walton
Operations personnel at many energy companies feel the pressure of achieving compliance with the NERC CIP standards. Some worry that they are not aware of the problems and security incidents that have occurred within their critical infrastructures. Some know that they do not have the procedures in place to maintain CIP compliance.
Infrastructure challenges are redefining utility capital-planning methods.
Tom Flaherty and Tim Gardner
The capital pressures squeezing utilities today need to be offset by stronger alignment among the four critical dimensions of capital planning: strategic, regulatory, financial, and managerial.
We are better off under restructured electric markets.
Howard J. Axelrod, Ph.D., David W. DeRamus, Ph.D., and Collin Cain, M.Sc.
The most important action regulators can take to minimize consumer electricity costs is, and will continue to be, ensuring competitive wholesale markets, while demanding a rich mixture of products from the suppliers in these markets.
Why competitive markets are scaring regulators.
Joseph Cavicchi and Andrew Lemon
If the underlying wholesale electricity markets from which supplies are procured are competitive, then the remaining concerns regarding price levels and volatility can be addressed through regulatory policies.
Debate continues on how to safeguard America's energy infrastructure.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the central question: Could any of this have been avoided? Many experts believe that the new authority given to FERC to enforce mandatory reliability standards, as per the Energy Policy Act of 2005, will bring greater transparency to the process of protecting critical infrastructure.