U.S. companies' international strategies turn sour, as Europe faces a future with an oligopoly of power companies.
While the European Union is pushing to give all industrial and commercial customers electric choice by 2004, giant incumbent European utilities are increasingly dominating power markets across Europe and the United Kingdom.
The speculative electricity trading industry has a bad case of rigor mortis, but current efforts might breathe new life into the practice.
Trading is dead. At least that’s what some analysts are saying about the electricity markets. “Trading died with Enron on Dec. 2, 2001,” says Mark Williams, an energy risk management expert at Boston University. Whether trading is really dead or not, some signs of a rebirth are beginning to emerge.
A surprisingly timid effort for an industry on the brink.
The purpose for the Committee of Chief Risk Officers (CCRO) recommendations, as stated in the introduction to their 198-page opus, is "to provide guidance on new methods and tools to establish a strong foundation for future growth in this (merchant energy) industry." But the reality is that the recommendations, almost without exception, fail to provide strong leadership in the areas of past and potential future abuse.
Is a proposed solution to energy-trading woes too little too late?
The Committee of Chief Risk Officers (CCRO) representing various utilities and merchant energy companies, recently released a set of detailed guidelines to improve the image and overall practices of energy trading, but the effort misses the mark.
Regulatory and market forces put the pressure on information technology to perform.
Technology isn't in the driver's seat at some energy companies, but it's not as if those companies have reverted to using typewriters, carbons and rotary dial phones. In fact, it's beyond dispute that information technology (IT), in particular, can improve business performance-and nothing is more important to energy companies right now. But with slashed budgets and collapsing credit ratings, how should energy companies spend their precious IT dollars?
FERC's attempt to standardize markets have some state regulators up in arms.
The fight over standard market design (SMD) looms large as regulators face the coming year. Passions are heightened on the subject-and everyone has an opinion.
In these pages, takes SMD and other questions right to the top policymakers in six states-Alabama, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Texas-for a snapshot of what the thinking is on hot topics. And of course we included the man of the hour, FERC's chairman Pat Wood.
In the rough-and-tumble energy biz, IT departments are paddling hard to stay afloat.
The storm that Enron ignited last fall shows little sign of abating. Information technology (IT) departments at every energy company have had to react to rapidly changing conditions, whether it be shrinking budgets or nervous workforces.
Judy Pensabene has joined the Republican staff of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as deputy chief counsel. She is returning to the committee, where she worked from 1990 to 1995, after serving as vice president of federal affairs at Constellation Energy Group.
Entergy announced that Peter P. Schneider has been hired as vice president of Nuclear Human Resources, a new position within the company. Schneider's prior experience includes stints at Human Resources Strategies and Solutions, Inc., Exelon, and PECO Energy.
The real, painful reform has only just begun.
It has been almost a year since Enron imploded into bankruptcy, but rather than solve problems, the event has only brought uncertainty-credit rating downgrades, a drop in investor confidence, and heightened scrutiny from the Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).