Archive: Business

The U.S. Has a New Dash for Gas

Natural gas has reemerged as the choice for new electric generation, according to the North American Electric Reliability Corp. Does this raise new reliability issues?

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The Impact of Carbon Trading on Performance: What Europe’s Experience Can Teach North American Generators

The European carbon trading system experience suggests that North American generators should expect severely altered coal-fired power plant operating profiles if cap-and-trade legislation becomes law. In a groundbreaking study, Solomon Associates predicts the reduction in mean run time that North American generators should expect. The trends outlined in this study provide an overview of some of the broad challenges facing generators in moving to a carbon-constrained market environment.

An Economist Looks at Climate Policy

An economist scratches his head in consternation as he looks at the discussion about climate change and energy conservation. Take his quiz to learn why commonly accepted assumptions make poor economic sense.

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Which Country’s Grid Is the Smartest?

The U.S. isn’t the only country evaluating and implementing elements of smart grid technology. In fact, it could be argued that other nations are much farther along the path to a comprehensive, technically advanced system for integrating renewables, managing load, and creating a more flexible power grid.

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A New Regulatory and Environmental Milieu

There will be no shortage of important issues to keep utility executives and their staffs busy throughout 2010. Few of these will be surprises, although a number will emerge quickly and assume larger-than-life significance. The confluence of the great recession and the sturm und drang of environmental legislation will create the liveliest of the debates, but more subtle trends will drive additional stressors. The results of Black & Veatch’s 2009 fourth annual industry strategic directions survey can offer guidance as to how these issues will affect the industry in the coming year.

Where Are the New Engineers?

The U.S. isn’t producing the workforce it needs for the future of energy generation. And forget about “green jobs,” an undefined concept.

What Do Customers Expect from the Smart Grid?

Xcel Energy’s SmartGridCity enterprise in Boulder, Colo., is one of the most talked-about smart grid projects. Here’s what some Boulder utility customers are saying about it.

Addressing the Intraday Trading Position Conundrum

Power traders need to get faster, more accurate information on how markets are working and how they are swinging. They should look to telecommunications and manufacturing markets for solutions.

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The U.S. Gas Rebound

"It’s déjà vu all over again," said Yogi Berra. The Hall of Fame catcher could easily have been predicting the coming resurgence of natural gas – fired generation. Yes, a few more coal plants will be completed this year, but don’t expect any new plant announcements. A couple of nuclear plants may actually break ground, but don’t hold your breath. Many more wind turbines will dot the landscape as renewable portfolio standards dictate resource planning, but their peak generation contribution will be small. The dash for gas in the U.S. has begun, again.