Fortnightly’s Executive Roundtable considers industry options and risks.
The Future of Fuel Diversity
The fragmented electric industry structure poses an obstacle to a more stable, diverse, and secure power supply.
Daily news headlines have drawn attention to concerns about fuels, especially the rising prices of oil and natural gas. Fears of interruptions of oil exports from Iraq, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela (take your pick) roil the energy market. But coal is not exempt from bad news, as production declines reduce output from Eastern U.S.
The numbers say "yes," adding weight to last year's benchmarking survey.
Does productive efficiency help determine an electric utility's prospects in regulated or competitive markets? Is productive efficiency a better marker of real-world success than simple financial attributes, such as cash flow, dividend ratio or operating income?
In unregulated markets, higher productivity translates directly into relative declines in costs and prices, and by extension, greater ability to compete and prosper.