EnergyBiz Magazine Spring 2015
In This Issue
  • the "Never Mind" Saga
    Switching from Coal to Natural Gas
    BY JOE NIPPERREMEMBER EMILY LITELLA on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" segment in the late 1970s? She shared her opinion on popular news issues of the day, which she always got wrong. Litella commented on "violins (not violence) on television" or "the deaf (not death) penalty." When the host interrupted her and said she had misheard, Litella looked up, stared at the camera and squeaked, "...
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  • Realizing CHP’s Full Potential
    WITH AN EYE to improving energy efficiency in the United States and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, the White House has set a goal of increasing the installed capacity of combined heat and power (CHP) systems from 80 gigawatts to 120 gigawatts by 2020. In order for this ambitious goal of enhancing CHP capacity by 50 percent in five years to be fully realized, utilities must reverse their...
  • Cybersecurity Challenges for State Utility Regulators
    THE UNITED STATES’ critical infrastructure sectors face the risk of frequent cyberattacks with potential effects that could damage vital systems, expose customer information to theft or severely limit essential safety activities. “A Summary of State Regulators’ Responsibilities Regarding Cybersecurity Issues,” a report by the National Regulatory Research Institute, studied cybersecurity...
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  • LOW INCOME POPULATION SUBSIDIZES OTHERS
    Net Metering Impacts
    THE U.S. HISPANIC Chamber of Commerce held its national convention in Salt Lake City this fall. As the largest gathering of Hispanic business leaders in the country, it got me thinking about our community's economic and cultural strength and how to ensure Hispanics remain an economic force in America. For example, Hispanic-owned businesses have nearly doubled to over 3 million in the last decade...
  • Crowdsourcing Energy Data Innovation
    A LITTLE OVER a year ago, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the launch of the American Energy Data Challenge. The challenge would consist of a series of four contests that combine open data and energy innovation and draw on the creativity of the American public in multiple ways. Our goals were simple: to increase the value of the vast public data sets held in trust by the U.S....
  • THE CHANGING FACE
    Utility Mergers and Acquisitions
    THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS have highlighted the revival of utility industry consolidation. In the electric and gas sectors, transaction announcements again captured headlines; many created ripples of surprise when the transaction parties - particularly the acquirers - were identified. Although serious consolidation has been occurring since the mid-1990s, transactions always cause the industry to take...
  • A Postcard from the Future?
    By John ColeHAWAII IS UNDERGOING an energy transformation that has been described as a postcard from the future, and many people are working hard to ensure that the postcard comes from a healthy, prosperous future, rather than from someplace people would prefer to avoid. With abundant renewable resources and the highest energy prices in the United States, Hawaii's renewable energy scene offers...
  • How Low Oil Prices Affect Power Gen Planning
    THE APPROPRIATE TIMING, technology and location for new generating resources are mired in complexity. Owners must consider financial implications, relative economic performance and technology risks along with pending and future regulatory environments, evolving energy markets and infrastructure changes that may occur over a multiple-decade planning period. Unfortunately, though, economic success...
  • Clean Power Plan Builds on Changes Already Happening
     A PROCESS OF TRANSFORMATION is taking place in the U.S. electric power sector. Dynamic changes in technology, policy and markets propel the transformation. Costs for technologies such as wind and solar power have dropped as markets have grown. Energy efficiency and demand response save energy and money and reduce stress on the grid. Advanced metering generates data and insight into how we...
  • German Utility’s Split to Focus on Renewables May Show Future of Industry
     ELECTRIC UTILITIES WORLDWIDE have a well-deserved reputation for being stable, if not downright stodgy, so it was a shock when Germany's biggest, E.On, announced it was spinning off its fossil-fuel power generation to focus on renewable energy, distribution and customer solutions. The traditional vertical utility with its big power stations continues to have a role in industrial countries,...