Asset optimization is a favored utility strategy in an economic downturn.
Generation plant construction has gone down with the economy. "Our project finance pipeline is as dry as I have seen it," says energy analyst Jerry Pfeffer of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, speaking at a recent energy conference in New Orleans. He predicts it will take at least a year or two until new construction starts up again in any significant manner.
And where the trouble spots lie in FERC's grid plan.
The mood appeared calm on June 26 in Washington, D.C., at the regular bi-weekly meeting of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Key officials from various regional transmission organizations (RTOs) had gathered before chairman Pat Wood and the other commissioners to brief them on progress over the past year in reforming wholesale electric markets, and on what the FERC might expect in the summer at hand.
The top traders, investors and managers tell why energy convergence is still a pipe dream.
[Graphic tables included in the print version of the Fortnightly are not included in this electronic version.]
Energy investors seemed less willing in 1999 to greet electric/gas combination mergers with the kind of blind enthusiasm they tended to show in prior years.
Instead, they now demand proof that energy convergence really does create tangible value beyond the mere sum of the parts. At least that's the impression gained from talking with John W.