MANAGING POWER Direct [May 10, 2012]

End Game for Rare Earth Dispute?

The end of the long-running flap over access to markets for rare earth minerals may be in sight, driven by a combination of political and diplomatic pressure at high levels and the normal workings of the marketplace.

Evaluating CPV Warranties

Utility-scale solar generation projects require significant upfront expenditures on photovoltaic panels and other equipment. The success of such projects largely depends on whether the system performs as promised by the manufacturers. This puts a premium on properly evaluating and effectively negotiating equipment warranties.

Five Ways to Make Energy Real to Your Customers

Lack of customer participation—or outright customer resistance—is likely to kill at least one of your utility’s strategic initiatives. Perhaps it already has. But utilities can take a variety of easy steps to prevent the wounding or premature death of strategic initiatives such as smart meters, new rate and efficiency programs, or capital construction projects.

Leveraging State Clean Energy Funds

Consider state clean energy funds as potential replacement funding sources for future clean energy projects.

Mergers: Are Promoters Ahead of Regulators?

Section 203 of the Federal Power Act requires certain mergers and acquisitions to be “consistent with the public interest.” Since its 1996 Merger Policy Statement, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has applied this standard by assessing a merger's effect on competition, rates, and the effectiveness of regulation. Does its approach need updating?

Power Industry Needs to Focus on Grooming the Next Generation of Leaders

The power industry has not done a good job grooming and mentoring the next generation of leaders and, as a result, is facing a leadership gap as the current generation approaches retirement, two executive search professionals told MANAGING POWER. While prospects for entry-level recruitment have improved, it will be five to 20 years before this cohort is ready to lead. In the near term, a renewed focus on grooming future leaders is critical.

The Future of Renewable Energy Finance

Scaling back and outright expiration of government subsidies will make financing renewable energy projects more difficult in the future, according to experts at the law firm of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo. But there will still be a greater appetite for renewables than there is supply, so it should still be possible to find the funds to build the projects.

The Rebranding of Global Warming

Washington’s greenhouse gang has learned that global warming is a losing issue. They’re back with a new strategy.

Trend—M&A on the Move

Despite a quiet 2011, this year promises to be one of the biggest for power industry mergers in quite some time—if FERC lets it happen.

Workplace Drama: Listening Mistakes and Solutions

One of the most important communication skills for leaders and managers is listening.    In your professional life, listening is at the heart of effective leadership, and in your personal life, listening is an act of love.