Regulatory Assistance Project

News Digest


Distributed Generation. In December and January the Illinois commission took comments from utilities, marketers, manufacturers, and trade and advocacy groups on how to develop policy on distributed generation.

* Rulemaking Strategy. Enron has urged the state to proceed in a fashion similar to the California PUC's

two-track investigation. It asked for two separate rulemakings on (1) interconnection standards for DG installations of 50 megawatts or less, and (2) rate design and operational issues.

* Unit Size Limits.

Green Power Takes Off with Choice in Electricty

FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES, A GROWING NUMBER of consumers are able to choose who supplies their electric power and, perhaps more importantly, where that power comes from. Evidence is mounting that this ability to exercise choice may give a long-needed shot in the arm to the deployment of renewable energy technologies.

National polls consistently reveal that between 40 and 70 percent of those sampled say they would pay a premium for environmental protection or for renewable energy, and utility company surveys reinforce those findings.

Renewable Energy: Toward A Portfolio Standard?

DEREGULATION PRESENTS WHAT IS PERHAPS THE BEST opportunity yet for renewables to stake a lasting claim in the electricity market.

Since most energy from renewable sources still isn't priced competitively with fossil-fueled technologies, many restructuring proposals at state and federal levels include various support mechanisms intended to drive down the renewable generation costs. The initial added expense is a necessary trade-off, advocates say, for the resulting reductions in emissions and energy price volatility.

Green Electricity: It's in the Eye of the Beholder

SOME PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHAT "GREEN POWER" means (em and, by extension, "environmentally friendly." Does that mean low emissions, including nuclear energy? Is renewable energy automatically green? Should the simple fact of compliance with all standards imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency afford the right to advertise power generation as green?

Consumers, agencies and state and federal officials want truth in advertising. Proponents of alternative generation claim consumers are willing to pay more for cleaner, greener energy.

Revenue Caps or Price Caps? Robust Competition Later Means Healthy Choices New

The debate over restructuring the electric industry has encompassed a revisiting of the traditional rate-of-return (ROR) pricing model. Parties of widely divergent interests increasingly advocate alternatives. Under the label "performance-based regulation," these new pricing models share the objective of strengthening incentives for electric utilities incentives to pursue some specified "socially desirable" outcome.