RECs Get Real

Green credits are maturing to become real, tradeable assets.

By displacing electricity produced from fossil fuels, renewable power plants produce two distinct products—commodity electricity and a set of environmental attributes (particularly avoided emissions). These environmental attributes can be packaged into a product called a renewable energy certificate, or REC, and sold separately from the electricity. As REC markets develop, key issues are being addressed regarding market interaction.

Money Talks, Thermal Plants Walk

Why it pays for utilities to be more efficient.

Working as chairman and chief scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute, the research institute he cofounded in 1982, Amory Lovins continues to sell his ideas to a more receptive industry, and he doesn’t hesitate to go after counter-arguments with which he disagrees.

Hold the Champagne?

There is much to celebrate in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, but what will federal regulators do?

When we least expected it, the politicians finally were able to pull a multi-billion white rabbit out of their hat—enacting a comprehensive national energy law (Energy Policy Act of 2005) that will usher in extraordinary changes in the industry However, just how the new law really will affect the industry is the question of the hour, with many provisions of the law left to the interpretation of regulators.

A New Solid South

Where Entergy leads, will Wal-Mart follow?

Everyone is talking about Entergy's move to form a single-company RTO-lite across its service territory in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Long-Term Power Contracts: The Art Of The Deal

Long-Term Cooperative Supplier Relationships

Buyers generally acquire a mix of long- and short-term contracts, with the goal of finding the optimal trade-off between price and flexibility.

For both buyers and sellers, forward contracts guarantee the exchange of a known quantity of goods at a known price and for a given time frame. From the buyer's perspective, such a contract not only guarantees delivery of a critical good, at an agreed upon price, but also reduces the costs of procurement operations, as prices do not have to be negotiated continually.


New realities demand new direction from utilities.


New realities demand new direction from utilities.


Retail Power: Double Down or Fold?

Utility retail is at a crossroads. Energy executives must decide which path to follow.

Utility retail is at a crossroads. Energy executives must decide which path to follow.

There are only two routes to creating or maintaining shareholder value in competitive retail electricity marketing: double down to grow the business significantly or fold and divest the business from its portfolio. Utilities and their competitive retail affiliates should determine today which of these two strategic bearings they wish to follow. The tentative middle ground of hold is simply a way to postpone the inevitable and erode shareholder value.

Technology Corridor

It's not just for enviros any more.

It's not just for enviros any more.

Green building. It's a trend that means newly constructed buildings consume 10 to 50 percent less energy than traditionally constructed buildings, yet cost only a small percentage more than standard construction. And it's a trend that is rapidly gaining a foothold with large residential and commercial builders. No wonder utilities of all sizes across the country are paying attention.