Ontario's Feed-In Tariff

Can a European-style renewable model work in the Americas?

The Province of Ontario, Canada is the first jurisdiction in North America to implement a European style feed-in tariff (FIT). It also was the first jurisdiction in North America to have a comprehensive standard-offer program for electricity supply from renewables.

Ontario's Failed Experiment (Part 2)

Service quality suffers under PBR framework.

Building upon last month’s installment, more is revealed on how, after 10 years of incentive regulation, reliability has declined in Ontario.

Ontario's Failed Experiment (Part 1)

Reliability declines after 10 years of incentive regulation.

After 10 years of incentive regulation, reliability has declined in Ontario. Regulators failed to enforce service-quality standards, and consumers are suffering as a result.

Dealing with Asymmetric Risk

Improving performance through graduated conditional ROE incentives.

Unlike the majority of performance-based regulation plans, alternative design paradigms require less data, by instead allowing firms to reveal performance potential. In an asymmetric environment, regulators don’t have needed information, but that can be overcome with better models and incentives.

Auction or Allocate

The great debate over emissions allowance distribution.

Various approaches to distributing emissions allowances spark a heated debate over costs and fairness, but the allocation methodology doesn’t determine whether a regulatory scheme will reduce emissions. Auctioning allowances and distributing them for free both offer advantages and challenges for a successful cap-and-trade system.

I Want My In-Home Display

Consumers await a revolutionary interface.

Consumers await the revolutionary interface that will allow them to control their energy consumption. Besides maximizing efficiency in the home, these units will allow more

price and product competition. But disincentives to innovation are making for slow progress.

The Carbon-Smart Grid

Network intelligence yields green returns.

A more sophisticated delivery network can yield “carbon value” via zero or low-emission generation, T&D efficiencies and innovative market strategies.

Transformer Change-out

New DOE rules mandate more efficient (and expensive) equipment.

When a federal court ordered the DOE to develop more than 20 energy-efficiency rules, the first rule DOE created was a commercial rule for energy transformer distribution equipment. The new DOE rule, published at the end of last year, is the first increased efficiency standard created since the beginning of the Bush administration in 2001.

Cyber Attack! - Defining 'Critical Assets'

ERCOT utilities approach CIP compliance from varying perspectives

As proposed by the North American Electric Reliability Corp., the new critical infrastructure protection (CIP) standards charge utilities with identifying their own critical assets and related cyber systems. This approach allows great flexibility for utilities to apply the CIP standards to their particular situations. This will help ensure that their efforts focus on securing critical assets, rather than on complying with an overly prescriptive set of mandates that might or might not yield a secure grid.