Archive: Business

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The Best and Worst of U.S. Government Employers

Working for Uncle Sam can be worthwhile or a life-sapping grind, depending on which agency employs you, according to a new survey by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Guess which agency ranked best. (Hint: It’s related to power.)

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Utility Customer Satisfaction: A Faith-Based Initiative?

Does customer satisfaction play a meaningful role in guiding utility operations? Many utilities think it does, as do many regulators. The market apparently doesn’t. Data suggest that the jury is out on the question, and the intuitive answer may not match the empirical evidence.

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Fabulous Wealth and Fabulous Poverty

Mark Twain summed it up best when he described India more than a century ago as a place of “fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty.” Today, for all its surging economic growth, 300 million Indians still live below the poverty line.

Renewable Project Finance Options: ITC, PTC, or Cash Grant?

Dozens of institutional investors in U.S. renewable energy projects pulled out of the market when the nation’s liquidity reserves dried up late last year. Some left the renewable market sector in search of more lucrative investment opportunities. Others found themselves unable to take advantage of the attractive tax credits because they themselves lacked profits against which to use the credits. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, approved February 13, changed the investor ground rules — again.

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Powering the People: India’s Capacity Expansion Plans

India has become a global business power even though hundreds of millions of its citizens still live in poverty. To sustain economic growth and lift its people out of poverty, India needs more — and more reliable — power. Details of government plans for achieving those goals demonstrate that pragmatism may be in shorter supply than ambition and political will.

Regulators Face Worst of Times

It’s not easy being a regulator as the nation faces several daunting energy challenges—integrating renewables, carbon constraints, reliability, and security into an elderly grid that is barely able to keep up with its current mission of moving power from generator to load.