A new set of skills and expertise will be necessary to deal with the risks created by new government mandates, new market developments, and new energy technologies.
Richard Stavros is executive editor of Public Utilities Fortnightly.
New policies on everything from climate change, wholesale market rules, and the greater adoption of renewable technologies are changing the risk calculus for the entire utilities industry. Many utilities executives believe that survival of the fittest will mean understanding the new risks better than other executives, and they are putting serious money behind that endeavor, according to some experts.
Steve Hanawalt, global energy and environmental executive at performance management software developer OSIsoft, says the race is on to develop better, faster, more comprehensive analysis and systems for this brave new world.
“As we start looking at the market, what we’re seeing is you have huge complexity coming at the market. We talked about the … markets going from zonal to nodal. Now you need these complex network models with the ability to forecast [locational marginal prices],” he says, addressing market developments in Texas and California.
Furthermore, Hanawalt says most of the industry not only believes that some sort of carbon legislation will be enacted by Congress, but the industry actively is building systems to model how carbon caps will change how the markets operate.