Archive: Business

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.

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.

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.

Is "Smart Grid" in the Eye of the Beholder?

Congress looks at what “smart grid” means and comes up with mixed definitions. The one thing everyone agrees on: The smart grid is going to be expensive.

The Communications Failures Lessons of Three Mile Island

The most lasting effect the Three Mile Island nuclear accident had on me was what it taught me about crisis communications—lessons that served me well over the 25-plus years that followed and especially after the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States.

Let’s Trash Employee Performance Reviews

UCLA management guru Sam Culbert calls annual employee performance reviews “bogus” and not conducive to good company management. Get rid of them, he says.