Frontlines & Op-Ed

Solar Shines As Regulatory Battles Abound

A tough legal and financial terrain is confronting producers, utilities and regulators.

State commissions are challenged to find the sweet spot whereby utilities can afford to maintain their systems and homeowners are motivated to go green.

The Economics of Clean Power

And how the market has outmaneuvered the political forces, so far.

While former CEO Charles Bayless says that economics remains the driving factor behind the shifting sands, there are plenty who would put the blame on the Obama administration and its “War on Coal.”

Is Nuclear Energy Still Viable?

Cheap natural gas is not just hurting coal. It’s doing the same to nuclear.

As the nation strives for cleaner air and less carbon emissions, nuclear – the most promising carbon-free power source – faces stiff competition from natural gas, which is cheap, abundant, and a lot easier to get permitted and built than a conventional reactor.

Utilities Cutting Cord to Coal

It’s not personal. It’s just business.

With coal’s troubles piling up, so too are stories about the industry’s “bleak” future in the United States – a casualty of cheap natural gas, thinning coal seams, and the pursuit of lower-carbon alternatives. Just as conspicuous: utilities, which have long allied themselves with the coal developers, are retiring their older coal units in droves.

The Driving Ambition of Elon Musk

An electric car in every driveway, a battery in every garage.

Tesla’s Elon Musk is driving the electric car off the lot and onto the premises of America’s electric utilities, proposing to build and sell energy storage batteries on both a residential and grid-wide scale – ideas that the chief executive will fully flesh out at the Edison Electric Institute’s annual meeting in New Orleans this June.

Enron's Lessons

Are regulators managing market manipulation?

Some will stray from ethical behavior. But markets must be regulated to maintain confidence.

Creative Disruption

Today’s technologies are causing utilities to rethink their business models.

Fifteen years into the 21st Century, the utility industry is being asked to think forward, beyond 2050. To some, that's a bit of a stretch for a mostly regulated enterprise that has been producing power and sending the electrons reliably for the last 150 years or so. To many others, though, it's past time for an evolution.

The Reselling of Coal

Its future rests with new technologies – not outdated PR.

If advanced coal generation is to reach fruition, then the coal sector will need a federal partner – one that it cannot afford to continue alienating.