How the feds opened the supply side.
The smart grid requires utilities and regulators to assert leadership.
Adopting an interoperable framework for the smart grid isn’t just a question of technology standardization. It’s also about navigating the legal, regulatory, and business factors that affect technology implementation. Making the smart grid work will require utilities and regulators to assert leadership.
The industry isn’t as robust as we might think.
Investor-owned utilities might seem fairly robust, but they’re not impervious to unpredictable black-swan events. Ensuring the industry’s survival might depend on our ability to reduce our dependence on fragile and unsustainable regulatory structures.
Investors get caught in partisan crossfire.
Investor-owned utilities get caught in the partisan crossfire, as candidates engage in a national food fight over tax policies.
Getting realistic about energy efficiency.
Is energy efficiency the answer to all our energy problems? The solution is more complicated than the hype would suggest. Only a practical approach can overcome barriers to capturing efficiency savings as a sustainable resource.
U.S. utilities gain strategic insights by playing out a carbon-constraint scenario.
Uncertainties over natural-gas prices, carbon regulation, and clean-technology alternatives are inhibiting investment in new power plants. An emissions “wargame” from Booz, Allen & Hamilton shows how companies might react to large, multidimensional changes in the generation landscape. The exercise raises strategic questions about competitive positions on the climate battlefront.
Can they be reduced?
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has cost public companies millions, if not billions, of dollars in extra costs. One must ask: What is the total cost of Sarbanes-Oxley, and is it worth it?
A review of power plant deals in 2004 shows that utilities are buying.
IOUs take action, but other overriding forces will affect prices in the near term.
It's going to be a wild summer for the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC), courtesy of higher than forecasted load growth, high gas prices, delays and cancellations of renewable resources, and lower than normal hydro generation.
Except for local reinforcements and new generation interconnections, few transmission construction proposals are moving forward.
There's plenty of talk about transmission, says Theo Mullen. "But real action on transmission construction is scant," he adds. "Conferences and reports abound. Projects of all sizes are being proposed. But, except for local reinforcements and new generation interconnections, few transmission construction proposals are moving forward. The vast majority of larger projects are stalled for lack of financial commitment."1