EnergyBiz Magazine May/June 2011
In This Issue
  • Embracing New Policies and Technologies
    U.S. UTILITIES ARE FACING THE challenges and opportunities that come with a work force that is approaching retirement. Finding the right mix of people for the 21st-century utility means developing strategies to attract a workforce suited to evolving energy policies and the quickening pace of new technologies.The energy policy agenda in the United States is evolving, but is certain to include...
  • Suport and Measurement Needed
    NEVER HAVE WE BEEN SO POWERFULLY reminded of the role energy plays in our daily lives.There are tremendous supply challenges that should provide a convincing argument for corporate leaders to be as energy efficient as possible, as multinational corporations play an increasing role in responsible energy use. Yet there are still challenges these leaders face when implementing companywide...
  • The Pursuit of Efficiency
    COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL buildings together consume 40 percent of the nation's electricity. With the dramatic rise in energy prices, going green is not an option, it's a necessity. Optimization of large commercial building design and operations is increasingly sophisticated, with many competing companies and technologies providing significant value, but its sole objective is to minimize end-use...
  • The Future of Coal, Nuclear and Natural Gas
    KENNETH HUMPHREYSFutureGen // Chief Executive OfficerThere are 540 coal plants in the United States and their net output is 337 gigawatts. They provide a little bit less than 50 percent of our electricity.It is coming from an asset base where a good portion of it - about 15 percent - is greater than 50 years old. Another 20 percent is between 40 and 50 years old. Although many of them have been...
  • Are they ready for prime Time?
    DAN ARVIZUU.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory // Director and Chief ExecutiveRenewables are here. They produce 10 percent of our electricity-generating capacity, about 130 gigawatts. Fiftythree gigawatts of that amount come from nonhydroelectric renewables. The nonhydro portion is about 4 percent of our overall electricity generation. It surprises some folks to know that renewable power...
  • A Path to the 21st Century
    JON WELLINGHOFFFederal Energy Regulatory Commission // ChairmanWe need to start guiding markets into what we believe are the most efficient structures to get innovative transmission projects built. Planning and cost allocation are the two most important parts of getting transmission developed from a regulatory standpoint. We are looking to deal with it by regions and by those regional planning...
  • Industry Standouts
    EnergyBiz 2011 KITE Awards: Industry Standouts
    LEWIS HAY IIINextEra Energy // Chief Executive Officer CEO of the YearLewis Hay got his start working in a steel mill in his native western Pennsylvania and he still can exhibit a "blue-collar streak," according to Moray Dewhurst, the vice chairman of NextEra Energy, who has known Hay for three decades.During the go-go years about a decade ago when Enron and others went overboard in energy...
  • Gigaton Emissions Savings
    AS THE NUMBER ONE PURCHASER of renewable energy in the United States and a strategic investor in renewable energy startup companies, Intel is helping lead the development of the clean energy industry. An imperative that is closely linked to clean energy is to help make smart energy a global reality.We must accelerate the integration of and synergy among intelligent renewable energy sources, smart...
  • High-tech Tools Integrate Renewables
    THERE IS A NEW TOOL SHARPENING California's renewable vision. It is in the form of a state-of-the-art system control center that houses the first dedicated renewables dispatch facility in the nation. As the state approaches a goal of generating 20 percent of its power from renewable resources, which escalates to an ambitious 33 percent by 2020, ensuring reliability brings new meaning to...
  • DOE’s New Solar Initiative
    THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY HAS launched the SunShot Initiative to reduce the cost of solar energy systems by 75 percent by the end of the decade making it cost-competitive - without subsidy - with conventional generation.While photovoltaic installation rates have averaged 48 percent growth per year over the last 10 years, solar only provides about 0.1 percent of the nation's electricity. If we...
  • New Design Offers Fast Returns
    THERE IS A NEW PARADIGM BLOWING in the wind - one that has the potential to improve both the economics and public acceptance of wind power. Vertical-axis wind turbines, which have struggled to establish themselves in the wind industry, may now be getting their second wind, thanks to a clever new turbine design and a brainy rethinking of wind farm layout.The concept is simple. By producing highly...
  • David Crane on Risks and Opportunities
    David Crane
    DAVID CRANE INTENDED TO STEER NRG ENERGY INTO the vanguard of energy companies pioneering the rebirth of nuclear power in America. With the nuclear crisis confronting Japan, his ambitions have hit a wall.As EnergyBiz was going to press, his company announced it cancelled financing for two nuclear units in Texas. NRG's joint venture partner, Toshiba, will continue attempting to secure a license...
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  • Greenpeace Co-Founder Remains Supporter
    Patrick Moore
    PATRICK MOORE TOOK A STEP ONTO THE WORLD STAGE four decades ago as the co-founder of Greenpeace, the activist environmental group that pressed for an end to atomic weapons tests and the hunting of whales.Moore, 63, more recently became a proponent of nuclear power, one of the first of a group of environmentalists to move in that direction. With the recent ongoing, fast-changing nuclear crisis in...
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  • Broad Impact of Wall Street Reform
    The Dodd-Frank Threat
    IT'S HARD TO ARGUE WITH THE PREMISE OF THE DODD-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that Congress passed on July 21. Its intention, after all, is to reduce risk, increase transparency and promote market integrity, and who's against those things? The problem is, as the act applies to energy companies, it may have little to do with reducing systemic risk and a lot to do with making...
  • Potential for an Additional 60 Gigawatts
    ASK ANYONE INVOLVED IN THE GEOTHERMAL ENERGY industry why that resource should be developed and the phrase "clean renewable energy that's baseload" is bound to come up in the first minute.And why not, given that in the right circumstances, it can be a significant contributor to the energy mix. Nowhere is the right circumstance more present than in California, with about two-thirds of the U.S....
  • T HAS BECOME A MANTRA. POLITICAL leaders say it. Corporate chieftains repeat it. We need all options when it comes to energy, particularly now that billions of people in China, India and other corners of the world expect a better lifestyle. We need electricity produced by gas, clean coal technology, renewables - and nuclear power.But nuclear power has been dealt a seismic setback.Shortly after...
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  • Global Players Pace the Industry
    AMERICANS WHOSE JAPANESE MAY BE LIMITED TO "SUSHI" and "geisha" learned two more words in March as reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant threatened to melt down in a catastrophe on the scale of Chernobyl.The crisis catapulted Tokyo Electric, one of the world's biggest electric utilities, into headlines everywhere, as the company attempted to avert a full meltdown and fight a...
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  • It's All About Change
    Change. It's all about change. Everything good that happens, happens because of change. Now, there's lots of change going on in the world. The question is: What's your capacity for change? Yes, you're in a regulated industry. There are rules, legislation and organizations that want and need to govern you and, unfortunately, sometimes slow you down. But you can simply say, "OK, if those are the...
  • Imagining Efficiency
    IMAGINE A FUTURE WHERE BUILDINGS are highly energy efficient, cost less to operate, and emit less greenhouse gas than today's standard office building. Imagine a future where all employees have a window view regardless of their rank or tenure. Imagine a future where windows convey daylight deep into the building illuminating all work surfaces and can be opened to provide fresh air. Imagine a...
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  • Co-ops Seek Clear Path Forward: Dealing with Uncertainty
    UNCERTAINTY AND REGULATION WERE ON THE MINDS OF the executives of five electric cooperatives at an EnergyBiz Leadership Roundtable held in conjunction with the recent annual meeting of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association in Orlando, Fla. Can co-ops accomplish their core mission of providing reliable and affordable electricity to rural members while complying with mandates for...
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  • A Safe and Viable Clean Option
    THE AFTERMATH OF THE TRAGIC EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI in Japan that crippled the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has caused an immediate impact on U.S. nuclear power generation. There have been calls from political figures for a moratorium on new plants, and escalated fears surrounding plants in seismically active areas. However, as the situation in Japan stabilizes, and more information is understood...
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  • CEOs Weigh In
    MICHAEL MORRISAmerican Electric PowerSolving multiple dilemmas - that's what my colleagues and I do each and every day. The challenge begins, obviously, at the generation end of the equation and goes into the transmission piece and then ultimately down to distribution and delivery to our customers.What we have concluded is that if our friends in Washington and some of our friends in various...
  • Environmental Dangers Cause Concern
    DRILLING FOR MARCELLUS SHALE yields vast resources of natural gas in states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, providing an economic and environmental bonanza.However, new evidence hydrofracking creates millions of gallons of wastewater laced with carcinogens, corrosive salt and radioactive elements like radium that are polluting water systems from Pittsburgh to Baltimore. Articles in...
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  • Evaluating Financial Risk
    DO YOU BUILD YOUR NEW SOLAR INSTALLATION USING wafers of crystalline silicon or thin-film cadmium telluride? Do you start now or wait another year or two for a more favorable discount rate? Do you locate it outside of Boston or Seattle?Each choice has risks and uncertainties and all have financial implications. Until now, utilities and investors have had little help in making these decisions when...
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  • ONCOR IS A TEXAS-SIZED TRANSmission and distribution company with an out-sized vision of the potential of a smarter grid. Robert S. Shapard, as chairman and chief executive officer of Oncor, oversees his company's 14,000 miles of transmission and 120,000 miles of distribution lines serving 3.2 million end points, making it the sixth-largest transmission and distribution company in the country....
  • Brown Pursues Renewable Energy Glory
    CALIFORNIA'S ENERGY BUSINESSES and utilities are about to experience the sudden jolt of Democrat Jerry Brown's return to the gubernatorial helm.Within his first few weeks of taking over the governorship from his Republican predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Brown utilized an aggressive combination of executive appointments and legislative initiatives to return the state to a global leadership...
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  • Calling on New Skills
    LAUREN AZAR, A PUBLIC UTILITIES commissioner in Wisconsin, said that the time she spends working on routine rate and construction cases "is what we get the paycheck for" - that, and upholding state environmental rules and protecting the public's interest.But a new territory that Azar is exploring, building a better electricity grid, has taken her far from the regulatory routine. She played a key...
  • Controversy Erup ts in California
    Smart Meter Wars: Controversy Erup ts in California
    A SWEEPING PLAN BY REGULATORS AND UTILITY EXECUTIVES to install more than 17 million smart meters in California by 2012 is generating growing controversy about health and cost ramifications from consumer advocates and threatening to derail the national move toward smart meter deployment.The state is already well on its way to jump-starting the imposition of an energy smart grid which is designed...
  • Smart grid, integration of renewables, smart phones and cloud computing have introduced new challenges and opportunities for CIOs. CIOs must also "keep the lights on" when budgets are tight. At the EnergyBiz Forum, we got the CIOs' take on how they're approaching this new environment.PARTICIPANTS Rebecca BlalockChief Information OfficerSouthern Company Mark GriffinHead of the Energy PracticeTata...
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