The importance of getting the REC markets right.
Daniel P. Krueger and Andre Begosso
The feds are ready to replace disjointed state policies with a coordinated national renewable energy credit market. Treating low-carbon energy consistently will promote investment in renewables.
Realizing the benefits of a modernized system requires an integrated strategy.
The U.S. power market consistently has displayed cyclical characteristics of boom and bust over the last two decades. Today’s market environment has been directly and significantly impacted by the recent economic recession. Decreases in load growth, declining commodity prices, and lack of accessible financing have caused challenges for the industry.
The black art of pricing social costs.
Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief
At the Power-Gen International trade show in December, Questar Chairman & CEO Keith Rattie delivered a firebrand speech opposing the prospect of CO2 cap-and-trade legislation. To summarize, he said the Waxman-Markey climate bill is an “asinine” piece of legislation—which it is, as anyone who reads it quickly discovers. But more broadly, he said concerns about greenhouse gases (GHG) are based on incomplete science and politically motivated alarmism.
Technologies are scaling up quickly to meet industry needs.
Like other California electric utilities, San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has been scrambling to meet the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which requires suppliers to obtain at least 20 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2010. Though the RPS includes a variety of technologies, renewables developers are choosing utility-scale solar power more than any other resource, says Hal La Flash, PG&E’s director of emerging clean technologies.
Legal and regulatory changes are transforming the industry.
This year has marked a sea change in energy policy, from environmental compliance to transmission pricing. Fortnightly interviews top lawyers to better understand how regulatory developments are affecting the power and gas industries.
How to manage the green revolution.
Dramatic changes are coming to the electric industry, sparked by a surge of renewable energy and related transmission. Growth in demand-side resources, conservation and smart technologies will add integration dilemmas to an already complex power system.
A system approach to managing demand.
To fulfill the promise of the smart grid, utilities need to give consumers a greater range of options as well as the education to make sustainable, energy-saving decisions. That includes integrating demand management into the utility back-office.
The economy forces tough decisions.
The economy has put state commissioners and regulated utilities in precarious positions. Seven state chairmen explain how they’re applying fair rate treatment.
Lawyers say what they really think about changing policies.
Michael T. Burr, Editor-in-Chief
Lawyers get a bad rap in this country, and in some cases it’s well earned. However, during the month of October I enjoyed the distinct privilege of interviewing nearly a dozen of the industry’s most insightful, informed and hard-working people—all of them law-firm lawyers serving energy companies, regulatory agencies and customer groups.
The capital markets have recovered … or have they?
One year ago, in the midst of the financial crisis, one industry—energy utilities—continued accessing the capital markets. Since then, interest rates and terms have improved dramatically, inviting utilities to refinance billions of dollars in debt that won’t mature for another year. Despite the current rosy picture, however, economic trends might cast a shadow over the industry’s capital-investment plans.