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.
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.
Why predictions from the Energy Information Administration may contain systematic errors.
Timothy J. Considine, Ph.D. and Frank A. Clemente, Ph.D.
Natural-gas estimates from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) are supposed to be “policy neutral.” Are they? Over the past decade, EIA forecasts for NG differ substantially from actual outcomes—even though overestimations of supply capabilities could lead to underestimating the costs of carbon regulations.
FERC issues a surprising order regarding responsibility for LNG-related retrofit costs.
The answer to the question of who will be responsible for cost-mitigation measures to accommodate the introduction of large quantities of LNG into the U.S. pipeline grid remains up in the air for now, but there are signs pointing in one particular direction: toward ratepayers.
Price caps, secondary markets, and the revolution in natural-gas portfolio management.
When FERC decided in February, in Order 890, to lift the price cap for electric-transmission customers seeking to resell their grid capacity rights in the secondary market, it cautioned against expecting a quid pro quo for gas. Was the commission just teasing?
Billions in new revenue could be realized early in the transition.
In a hydrogen-electric economy, power companies could see very large market opportunities—and play a major role in enabling and accelerating implementation.
Has restructuring succeeded on either continent?
Terrence L. Barnich & Philip R. O’Connor, Ph.D.
The era of polemics about electric competition is nearly over. It’s time to compare the relative performance of competition and traditional regulation as these two established models operate side-by-side.
Part 1 of a 2-part article explores new technologies most likely to influence competitive success.
When fighter pilots list the advantages of one combat aircraft over another, they do not speak primarily of speed. Rather, they refer to the ability of one aircraft to “turn inside” another, to negate other aspects of performance with a superior turning radius. For the utility industry, fundamental changes in technology, markets, or regulatory requirements can “turn inside” the ability of companies to respond, as long-lived investments and choice of fuels lock them into their strategic choices for decades. This article proposes ways for utility leaders to understand strategic risk better and manage it more effectively.
Financial transmission rights and regulated returns have not induced needed construction. Presenting an alternative model.
J. Jolly Hayden and Robert J. Michaels
By almost any measure, the nation is running short of transmission, and the existing volume of investment cannot long continue to reliably accommodate retail-load growth and larger wholesale volumes. Factors like environmental opposition also have caused declines and delays in transmission investment, but it seems clear that financial transmission rights and regulated returns have not sufficed to induce the necessary construction. The authors propose a new model to reward investors who lower congestion costs.
Congress renews PURPA’s call for conservation and load management, but the world has changed since the 1970s.
The “N-word” in the title first appeared in this journal more than 20 years ago, courtesy of the celebrated environmentalist Amory Lovins and his widely quoted piece, “Saving Gigabucks with Negawatts” (Fortnightly, 1985). Scroll forward a few decades. With restructuring of wholesale electric markets at FERC, plus formation of regional transmission organizations and independent system operators, the game was changed.
Congress allows market-based rates. How will FERC respond?
As a rare amendment to a venerable statute, EPACT05 § 312, New Natural Gas Storage Facilities, made headlines, adding an option for interstate, market-based storage rate making. It would encourage new storage facilities by permitting FERC to authorize market-based storage rates, even when the applicant is unable to demonstrate it lacks market power. After authorizing such rates, FERC periodically must review them.The problem with the new law is that it does not specify those review periods.