Fortnightly Magazine - June 15 2003
Market fundamentals are driving NOX prices higher.
Environmental compliance appears poised to become the biggest single driver of asset value for electric generators during the next five years.
While limits on sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions have been achieved with relatively minor impact through the tradeable allowance program, permit systems in the future will become increasingly stringent. The NOX State Implementation Plan (SIP) Call represents just the first instance of this.
NRG's bankruptcy is challenging creditors' resolve to back merchants until power prices rebound.
A common complaint in the last few months by would-be buyers of merchant assets has been that all the choice power plants have been pledged as collateral to commercial banks in order to stave off bankruptcy. That's why not many transactions have taken place, merchant asset buyers say, as everything else in the market isn't worth the price being offered.
Allegheny Energy named David C. Benson its interim executive vice president, assuming the responsibilities of Allegheny Energy Supply President Michael P. Morrell, who will make use of the company's early retirement option program. Benson has been with Allegheny Energy for 25 years.
Cleco Corp. appointed Stephen M. Carter vice president of regulated generation. Carter earlier served as superintendent of Dolet Hills power station.
Social and political attitudes toward cheap power were a major obstacle to electricity liberalization in Poland; they also may be one in Russia.
The Feb. 1, 2003, edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly contained a pair of articles (Competition Lost, and Superpower Opportunities) about utilities that invested abroad during the 1990s. The pairing of the articles leads to the question of what can be learned from the past to facilitate investments in future opportunities.
PJM would dictate grid expansion, even if not needed for reliability, and then push the cost of the upgrades on those who use them the most.
Chairman Pat Wood and his Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) may well have given up on attempts to impose a standard market design (SMD) on the electric utility industry, but that doesn't mean the nation's grid system operators won't try the same thing.
Will dividends become the sole focus for investor valuations of utilities?
With last month's favorable Senate vote to repeal the tax on dividends from 2004-2006 and reduce it 50 percent this year, and the high-profile conference committee meetings between the House and the Senate at press time, many are asking if investors are, or should be, beginning to evaluate utility companies solely on the basis of the dividend.