Greater reliance on gas-fired power implies serious economic, technological, and national security risks.
Over the past two decades, the United States has, by default, come to rely on an "In Gas We Trust" energy policy. Natural gas increasingly has been seen as the preferred fuel for all applications, nowhere more than in the electric generation sector. However, the greatly increased use of natural gas forecast for the electricity sector may not be economically or technically feasible, and it does not represent optimal or desired energy policy.
Energy Information Administration
Strange bedfellows may provide a new supply option.
Justifiable concerns associated with high natural gas prices have led analysts to consider the implications for new capacity development over the next decade. Expectations regarding the continued dominance of natural gas-fired units have begun to change. For example, in its , the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects 112 GW of new coal-fired generating capacity to be constructed between 2003 and 2025-a 51 percent increase over EIA's 2003 forecast.
Two Cato analysts suggest a return to the past-vertical integration, but now with no state regulators.
The defeat of the energy bill in the Senate last year has thrown electricity restructuring back on its heels. There clearly is no consensus among politicians or academics regarding how this industry ought to be organized or how it might best be regulated. Finding our way out of this morass requires a reconsideration of how we got to this dismal point in our regulatory journey.
A number of factors point to expanded nuclear generation. But when?
The role that nuclear power will play in the U.S. electricity generation mix during the coming decades has been a subject of continuing speculation. Few analysts deny the remarkably improved prospects for the existing fleet of reactors: Efficiencies realized by industry consolidation, reactor uprates, and plant license renewals have, in a period of about five years, greatly increased the market value of nuclear plants and the competitive advantage of companies that own them.
The industry requires new analytical tools to incorporate the realities of today's higher risk operating and investment environment into the equity allowance process.
FERC should consider a two-part tariff to boost transmission investment.
Transmission, rather than generation, is generally the constraint preventing customers from getting the power they desire.
Utilities that are short on capacity and operate in a stable regulatory environment may be able to extract value from interruptible rates.
How effective are federal energy efficiency regulations?
New buildings must meet federal energy efficiency guidelines, which have historically used site-energy measurements as the metric for building energy consumption. Using site-energy measurements, though, ends up favoring the use of electricity from the grid, rather than using electricity produced on site.
Outdated "wisdom" wastes the nation's electricity infrastructure. Distributed CH&P is the answer.
The use of wasted heat-which now comprises two-thirds of the energy value of the fuels used in generat-ing electricity in this country-may be the most important benefit from using more distributed generation.