Fortnightly Magazine - January 2017

In Only the Second Period of Low Real Rates and Bills

How Should We Manage and Regulate Now?

Electric bills this March were just a tick off the pace of the all-time low. In this unique period, how should we regulate utilities? Should we correct course? Should we allow greater growth of non-fuel costs to – let’s say – buy some more reliability?

Energy People: Ben Fowke

We talked with Ben Fowke, who leads Xcel Energy

Ben Fowke and Steve Mitnick discuss Xcel’s rapidly growing wind resources. They made up 17 percent of the energy provided to Xcel’s customers in 2015, generating more power than nuclear and nearly as much as natural gas. By 2020, Xcel projects that 24 percent of its energy will come from wind.

Energy People: Lawrence Jones

We talked with Lawrence Jones, the Edison Electric Institute's Vice President for International Programs

Lawrence Jones joined the Edison Electric Institute a year ago as the association's vice president for international programs. He had been North America vice president for utility innovation and infrastructure resilience at Alstom Grid Inc., and also vice president for policy, regulatory affairs and industry relations for Alstom.

EPRI Podcast: Open Road for Electric Vehicles

Creating Key Infrastructure

How will utilities approach a charging infrastructure with 46 electric vehicle models on the market by 2020? This is of particular interest in California, which has a mandate of 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025.

The Power of Innovation, Part 1

Utility Execs' Roundtable: We sat down with seven utility execs who lead their companies on innovation

Strategy& and Public Utilities Fortnightly recently collaborated on an innovation roundtable in Washington, D.C. at the offices of the Edison Electric Institute. The experiences of these senior executives convey insights attained through the hard work of creating their unique innovation platforms.

Ted Koppel: Right and Wrong

Electric Sector Cyber Security

Koppel’s “Lights Out” book focuses on America’s cyber vulnerability, and on what he perceives as the fecklessness of institutions designed to protect us. He deserves credit for raising a serious subject in greater depth than it is generally covered in the media. But his expertise in the area is not deep, and he gets some fundamental things wrong.

Renewable Portfolio Standards: Changing the Industry

Updates and Forecast for 2017

Since 1983, renewable portfolio standards have been enacted in 29 states, with 8 others setting different benchmarks. In addition to increasing renewable energy generation in states that have adopted these standards, the standards have driven renewable energy development in states without them.

Interest Rates After the Election

What they Mean for Public Utility Returns

This article highlights rate drivers that could lead to yield movements upwards or downwards, and even into nominal negative interest rates. We then analyze how policy and market developments could affect the analyses used to establish public utility returns and expert debate in adjudicated rate cases.

Change Underway in Electric Power Industry

Key Trends Volume Released

In 2016, the Institute for Electric Innovation released Volumes I, II, and III of Key Trends Driving Change in The Electric Power Industry. The final volume examines rate and regulatory reform, data analytics, and grid modernization.

Fighting the Cyber Threat

How To Prepare

Growing up as an Air Force brat, I had certain values drilled into me: Be aware, take responsibility, work as a team, and be prepared. These same values can help combat security threats facing our industry.