America’s Energy Export Growth Trend

The beaten and bruised US coal industry  got up off the floor from the body blows of US EPA’s regulations and got back in the race as an export champion serving energy hungry Asian markets. Fourth quarter 2011 US coal exports increased 6.6 percent from the Q3: 2011 and 32.6 percent from Q4: 2010 to Read more about America’s Energy Export Growth Trend[…]

Between FERC and a Hard Place

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is trying to avoid being drawn into the political battle over the regulatory agenda being pursued by the US EPA against fossil fuel emissions in the wave of new environmental regulations being issued by the agency.   US EPA knows it is only a few votes away from being overturned in Read more about Between FERC and a Hard Place[…]

FERC MACT Strategy: A Roadmap for Reliability or Mayhem?

In March 2011, US EPA created a regulatory and political firestorm when it published Boiler MACT rule (requiring Maximum Available Control Technology be used in boilers, incinerators and power generation plants);the rules set emission limits to reduce the effects of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) generated by industry from boilers and process heaters located at universities, Read more about FERC MACT Strategy: A Roadmap for Reliability or Mayhem?[…]

Is California's Resource Adequacy at Risk?

California is experiencing growing concerns over resource adequacy.  The CAISO took the unusual step of objecting to the proposed shut down of the Calpine Sutter natural gas power plant at FERC saying the plant would be needed as soon as 2017 to assure resource adequacy and thus is made no sense to shut it down Read more about Is California's Resource Adequacy at Risk?[…]

Beware the Big Green Wall Ahead

As individual citizens and consumers we favor environmental responsibility and the use of clean energy.  We get it, we do. There is broad public support for environmental laws and regulations that force businesses to clean up their act and not dump their waste products into our air and water.  Since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring we Read more about Beware the Big Green Wall Ahead[…]

FERC to EPA: Do You Know What You are Doing to Electric Reliability?

On November 29-30 FERC will hold a technical conference on reliability in Washington.  If you cannot attend a free live webcast is available for this meeting. All webcasts are archived for 3 months.  It should be interesting to see who shows up and who is squirming as they answer the questions from FERC Commissioner Philip Read more about FERC to EPA: Do You Know What You are Doing to Electric Reliability?[…]

Are We Rushing the Smart Grid?

That was the interesting title of an article by Dick DeBasio, Chair of the IEEE 2030 Smart Grid Working Group.  That is the group tasked with developing the interoperability standards for the grid.  It has been a tedious slog for them and it must feel like little progress is being made. FERC recently rejected a Read more about Are We Rushing the Smart Grid?[…]

Renewable Energy Buyers Remorse: How Big a Risk?

Municipal utilities have been good laboratories for experimentation because they are close to customers and generally risk averse.  Munis have been among the most assertive buyers and strongest advocates of renewable energy.  Generally free of state rate regulation, public power has been able to plan and executive strategies and deals that push the envelope of Read more about Renewable Energy Buyers Remorse: How Big a Risk?[…]

USDOE to FERC—Never mind!

Maybe Energy Secretary Steve Chu felt he had enough battles to fight on Capitol Hill with the Solyndra mess.  Maybe he felt it was impolitic to pick a fight a fight the state public utility commissions.  Maybe he took Senator Bingaman’s advice not to do it to heart. Whatever the reason, USDOE blinked today and Read more about USDOE to FERC—Never mind![…]

Could FERC Order 1000 Hijack State IRPs?

FERC  Order 1000 encourages states or requires those subject its jurisdiction to engage in regional transmission planning and cost allocation reforms that facilitate the integration of renewable energy resources, energy efficiency, demand response and distributed generation into the portfolio options.  Thus Order 1000 lives into the aspirations for a clean energy economy and seems to Read more about Could FERC Order 1000 Hijack State IRPs?[…]