Coal gasification as a transition plan to build lead time to develop sustainable, climate-friendly energy technologies.
Editor's Note Several of the sources for this article and accompanying sidebars are referenced numerous times.
RTO cost/benefit studies are difficult to reconcile.
The premise behind the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) push for regional transmission organizations (RTOs)-that they will provide positive economic benefits to society- increasingly is being challenged.
Some thoughts on who should take the lead and how to set up financial incentives.
One of the most interesting questions that arises from federal restructuring of the electric grid, with regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and a standard market design (SMD), concerns the risk of building transmission in an RTO environment.
RTOs will perpetuate regional monopolies and political rate regulation.
Economists sometimes get confused - especially when the real world doesn't fit into their neat boxes.
Network industries like telephone and electricity are today's case in point. Economists have viewed these parts of the economy as requiring special attention from regulatory authorities. They're viewed as "natural" monopolies displaying "economies of scope" and characterized by risky "lock-in" or "path dependency" features. That supposedly makes them prone to abuse by their free-market owners, and therefore in need of impartial regulatory oversight.
State public service commissions are insisting that utilities adopt risk management programs, and are allowing less pass-through for those that don't.
Natural Gas Hedging: A Primer for Utilities and Regulators
What commissions need to learn.
What LDCs should already know.
The facts are now in. If utilities had hedged their natural gas purchases during the 1990s, they could have earned windfalls for those they serve, given the wild price gyrations of the past decade (). Yet few if any households or businesses saw any windfall, because few utilities were engaged in futures and other derivatives markets.