Frontlines & Op-Ed
To the Editor:
I read your May 15, 2003, "Frontlines" column ("Grid Glut?") and have to respectfully take issue with a couple of your thoughts.
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.
Amory B. Lovins: It's startling to see in the such nonsense as Andrew Rudin's "Feel-Good Electric Waste" (April 1). He argues that since more efficient use of electricity has merely reduced rather than reversed growth of kilowatt-hour consumption—because the services provided grew even faster—efficient use is bad for the environment and "has not worked." Indeed, it makes us "just waste more electricity, only more efficiently than before."
FERC: Lender of Last Resort?
The commission may find it's powerless on capital finance and credit issues.
Some say that without Alan Greenspan attending the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC's) Jan. 16 and Feb. 5 technical conferences on capital availability for energy infrastructure and energy market credit issues, the commission will have few options other than market enforcement and the design of fair and competitive markets
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.
Executive and academic views on what to fix and what's not broke.
The sound and fury over trading scandals, credit defaults, and market manipulation so far has drowned out much of the mind-numbing debate over a standard market design (SMD), and rightly so. Utilities understand (as does the press) that Enron, "Deathstar," and "Get Shorty" will always sell more newspapers than locational pricing or congestion management.
Why rate base is back in style.
It's no surprise that traditional utilities are now fashionable with Wall Street. With merchant generation and energy trading gone bust, bankers, analysts, and fund managers at the 37th Edison Electric Institute Financial Conference, held last month in Palm Springs, Calif., were falling over themselves to find those regulated gems overlooked during the energy merchant boom years.