How joining the EU may transform the Central and Eastern European electricity sectors
It is not coincidental that energy assets are for sale across Central and Eastern Europe the same year that 10 new countries join the European Union (EU). New member states had to demonstrate significant sector reforms to qualify for EU membership. These sectors have historically had miserable economic results due to artificially maintained low prices, poor and often corrupt management, and significant political interference.
Business & Money
Experts debate whether KKR's leveraged buyout of UniSource Energy is right for the industry.
"From a public policy standpoint, should a utility that provides a vital public good be owned by a private group that gains ownership by taking on a high degree of debt (risk)?"
ISO New England dares to dream, again.
ISO New England (ISO-NE) wants to become a regional transmission organization (RTO). But just the idea-prior to any official filing at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)-has come under attack. ISO-NE is going to find rough waters ahead, despite a three-year effort aimed at a smooth transition to becoming an RTO. And now with the Oct. 31 filing of the 2,000-plus-page RTO proposal at FERC, the stage is set for these battles to be fought, again.
The road to the current reliability crisis is paved with four decades of bad policy decisions.
The technical causes of the great Northeast blackout of August 2003 are coming into focus. For reasons yet unknown as of press time, transmission lines in northern Ohio were lost to the grid, and within seconds 50 million people in the United States and Canada were without power. Soon we will no doubt know the specific reasons for the blackout, and technical corrections and improvements will be made.
Virginia's State Corporation Commission (SCC) named Howard M. Spinner as director of its Division of Economics and Finance, replacing Richard J. Williams. Williams is retiring after 22 years with the commission. Spinner has been with the SCC since 1998.
The Western Electricity Coordinating Council board of directors elected Jack L. King as its chair and Ronald D. Nunnally and Tim Newton as vice chairs.
Presenting a fair and simple distributed generation plan for utilities and policy-makers.
Distributed generation (DG) continues to face many institutional barriers erected before the technology emerged as an economic alternative. Chief among these barriers are existing rate and regulatory regimes, which fail to offer appropriate incentives to utilities and customers who might otherwise substitute DG facilities for distribution and generation.
The pros and cons of dividend pay-out reductions and stock repurchase programs in uncertain economic times.
The Dow Jones Utility Average currently stands at its lowest level in five years. Electric and gas utilities, along with U.S. companies generally, have been consistently lowering their payout ratios over the past several years, and that downward trend is projected to continue. What do these facts portend for utility investors in the near future?