Fortnightly Magazine - January 1 2003

IT Security: Who's Investing In What?

Regulatory and market forces put the pressure on information technology to perform.

Regulatory and market forces put the pressure on information technology to perform.

Technology isn't in the driver's seat at some energy companies, but it's not as if those companies have reverted to using typewriters, carbons and rotary dial phones. In fact, it's beyond dispute that information technology (IT), in particular, can improve business performance-and nothing is more important to energy companies right now. But with slashed budgets and collapsing credit ratings, how should energy companies spend their precious IT dollars?

Large-Scale Green Power: An Impossible Dream?

Chasing after windmills and photovoltaics could well be the stuff of fiction.

Chasing after windmills and photovoltaics could well be the stuff of fiction.

Wind and solar cells (photovoltaics or PVs) are two renewable energy technologies that many hope will eventually provide the United States with massive amounts of clean, sustainable electric power for the indefinite future. Indeed, it is often suggested or implied that the United States can look to a future where most, if not all electric power can be provided by wind and photovoltaics [1, 2].

A Blueprint for DG

Presenting a fair and simple distributed generation plan for utilities and policy-makers.

Presenting a fair and simple distributed generation plan for utilities and policy-makers.

Distributed generation (DG) continues to face many institutional barriers erected before the technology emerged as an economic alternative. Chief among these barriers are existing rate and regulatory regimes, which fail to offer appropriate incentives to utilities and customers who might otherwise substitute DG facilities for distribution and generation.

Chronicle of a Transmission Line Siting

Cross-Sound Cable Co. shows how transmission siting is much harder to do now than in the good old days.

Cross-Sound Cable Co. shows how transmission siting is much harder to do now than in the good old days.

Opposition to electric transmission line projects designed to upgrade the nation's infrastructure can come from a number of sources: the host municipality, adjacent municipalities, the state's executive branch, the legislative branch, commercial entities, ad hoc or long-standing environmental groups, and/or organized citizen groups.

Frontlines

Presenting a new look and new editorial content for 2003.

Fortnightly: A New Frontier

Presenting a new look and new editorial content for 2003.

In this Jan. 1, 2003, issue, Public Utilities Fortnightly magazine takes pause in this column from its energy industry commentary to tell readers about several important developments at the magazine.

Perspective

Solving the industry's problems will require cooperation between the federal government and states.

We Can Work It Out

 

 

Solving the industry's problems will require cooperation between the federal government and states.

If we are to successfully forge a new, efficient and customer-focused structure for the electric industry, state and federal regulators must work together to ensure reliable supplies of electricity at the lowest cost possible in markets that are truly competitive and free of market manipulation.

Business & Money

The economic downturn is increasing utility pension plan costs and liabilities.

Pension Plans May Slow Utility Growth in 2003

 


 

The economic downturn is increasing utility pension plan costs and liabilities.

While 401(k) stock option plans have increasingly displaced traditional pension plans in corporate America, many mature firms like electric utilities are still administering sizeable pension plans that in the recent economic downturn could compromise future earnings, according to a report by investment bank CIBC World Markets (CIBC).