The Power to Reduce CO2 Emissions: The Full Portfolio

What the U.S. electricity sector must do to significantly reduce CO2 emissions in coming decades.

The large-scale CO2 reductions envisioned to stabilize, and ultimately reverse, global atmospheric CO2 concentrations present major technical, economic, regulatory and policy challenges. Reconciling these challenges with continued growth in energy demand highlights the need for a diverse, economy-wide approach.

Banking on the Big Build

The need for many hundreds of billions of dollars in capital expenditures creates huge opportunities and challenges, especially in a more challenging credit environment.

An estimated $900 billion of direct infrastructure investment will be required by electric utilities over the next 15 years, and $750 million already is in place. Nukes, renewables, low-carbon technologies, combined-cycle gas turbines—all have faced cost challenges. The magnitude of the numbers requires a multi-pronged approach.

When the Price Is Right

How to measure hedging effectiveness and regulatory policy.

Hedging programs promise protection against energy-market price spikes, and they can be important to the regulatory goal of sustainable, lowest long-term service cost. But how much price protection is enough in natural-gas markets? What is the most efficient use of risk capital when hedging energy supplies?

Spaced Out

Geospatial applications are laying the groundwork for the next round of infrastructure development and customer interaction.

As utilities grapple with aging infrastructure and outage management, they are evaluating their GIS and considering the best way to keep up with the shifting demands of the electric-power industry.

Tilting to Windward

As if carbon control were a fait accompli, gen developers skew the queue toward renewable projects, driving new policy on transmission pricing.

Now at last, in a region other than California, we can see clearly that renewable mandates and fears of carbon taxes have influenced the power-plant development cycle. Moreover, this effect is helping to drive policy proposals for the pricing of transmission service and the recovery of costs for grid upgrades deemed necessary to bring the new plants on line.

The Best Little Nodal Market in Texas

Sweating the details for 2009.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) introduced wholesale market competition in 1996, following the organizational change of ERCOT from a pure reliability council to an independent system operator (ISO) the same year. This makes ERCOT one of the earliest adopters of competitive electric markets. Stakeholders and regulators in ERCOT are trying to work out the details of implementing this market.

Another Side to Decoupling: Share the Gain, Not the Pain

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities finds incentive programs may be a better way.

New Jersey regulators say they have found a way to achieve conservation objectives while maintaining efficient operations, all without placing additional risk on consumers. How did they do it?

Cyber Standards: FERC Asserts Its Authority

NERC’s first critical-infrastructure standard is now enforceable. But cyber rules await approval.

Cyber standards proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corp. are in limbo this summer, although the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission anticipates taking action on them soon. Once approved, however, how will the two organizations work together to enforce compliance?

Asian Electric Competition Custom Tailored For Success

Taking the anti-FERC approach to the grid.

A common response to energy-market risk is a complex market infrastructure, with significant administrative effort and cost dedicated to managing the risks and ensuring that the market functions in a transparent and effective manner. But is market complexity a necessary byproduct of competitive markets?