Fortnightly Magazine - February 2017

Nuclear Power as A Carbon Reduction Strategy

Low Carbon, not Always Low Cost

Consider the current U.S. low power price environment as the country shifts away from coal and toward cleaner energy sources to reduce carbon emissions. What are the prospects that nuclear energy will continue to play a role in the U.S. power mix? That's the question that Michael Haggarty addressed in a recent report on global nuclear power generation.

What is the Right Rate Design?

Fairness Is In the Eye of the Beholder

Fairness has conflicting meanings for customers, utilities, power generators, DER providers, and others. Regulators and policymakers must understand their goal should not be the perfect rate design; it doesn't exist.

Golden Rule Applies to Public Servants

Harassment is Wrong

It is appropriate that people are passionate about sharing their views with utility regulators. But demonizing or implicitly threatening a public servant should have no place in public discourse.

New Year 2017: The Trump Administration

Change Will Occur, Slowly

It is not possible to know what priorities the new administration will pursue. It is possible for legislators, regulators, and utilities to make some assumptions: coal will continue to decline as a generation fuel, previous utility investment and court decisions will carry forward. Legislators will continue to promote generation fuel diversity to best ensure system reliability.

Is It Finally Time to Embrace Multiyear Rate Plans?

Customers and Utilities Benefit

In the U.S., electric utilities are the major supporter of MRPs. In other countries, the government has been a major proponent. Countries such as Australia, Canada and Great Britain have relied heavily on MRPs, often citing the deficiencies of traditional rate-of-return ratemaking.

Moral Economics and Power

Neo-Liberalism's Consequences

Adam Smith's first book, “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” argued that people acted not just for money, but also out of professional pride, fairness, patriotism, altruism and other non-economic reasons. Maybe the time has come to revisit Adam Smith and his important first book.

A Faster Flight to Value

Collaborating to Get More, Sooner

Imagine five or ten utilities teamed up to advance useful applications of drones to the industry. Whether with drones or some other emerging opportunity, collaboration is a smart path to more value, faster.

Energy Efficiency

Past as Prologue

More efficient products and services caused 60% to 75% of the increase in energy productivity since 1970. In this, the first of three parts on the history, present situation, and future of energy efficiency, we'll take a macro view of the efficiency industry and how we got here.