Insights from our Editorial Team

  • Net Metering and Who Pays What at Issue
    Nov 22, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    Industry and their customers will certainly be grappling with this issue of net-metering for a while. It is clear that the grid won’t vanish and, in fact, it will likely expand. But that dynamic is bumping up against another one -- that more customers want to generate their own power. Regulators such as those in Arizona will enact rules that will need to be flexible as times and experience evolve.

    Comments: 6
  • Nov 21, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    The nation’s biggest publicly owned utility is quickly evolving. But one such change is still in the mix -- the one to privatize the Tennessee Valley Authority.

    Comments: 7
  • Colorado is the latest state to implement new laws
    Nov 19, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    States with a high interest in the oil and gas industries are stepping up their attempts to regulate the drilling process. The aim, in all cases, is to minimize environmental fears while creating jobs and wealth. Colorado, for example, is the latest test case, although some communities there are opposed to gas drilling.

    Comments: 2
  • Nov 18, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    The two have rendezvoused again: Google and private equity investor KKR are teaming to build six solar plants, which according to the popular search engine, is part of its plan to help bring renewable energy to scale so that it is more accessible to other entities. Working?

    Comments: 3
  • Nov 15, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    The coal industry has long argued that restrictive regulations are not just dooming an inexpensive and reliable power source but that they are also deterring national investment in advanced coal technologies -- the same ones that the current administration says will determine the fate of that industry.

    Comments: 5
  • Nov 14, 2013 | Terry M. Jarrett

    According to a recent US Department of Homeland Security report, in fiscal year 2012, ICS-CERT received and responded to 198 cyber incidents as reported by asset owners and industry partners. Attacks against the energy sector represented 41 % of the total number of incidents.  While none of these attempted cyber-attacks on utilities were successful, many experts have said it is not a question of if, but when.

  • Nov 14, 2013 | Staff Writer

    The energy industry is being reshaped by a confluence of changing consumer preferences, advancing technologies, and shifting regulatory policies. This ‘new normal’ offers both uncertainty and opportunities.  And regardless of the regulatory environment, new market entrants are engaging consumers with innovative value propositions and staking their claim to parts of the energy value chain that increasingly extends into homes and businesses. 

  • Acquistions up this past quarter
    Nov 13, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    The North American utility industry is gathering a head of steam, at least as far as mergers and acquisitions go. That’s according to PriceWaterHouseCoopers, which says that in the third quarter of 2013 that such combinations accelerated.

    Comments: 3
  • Oil and Farm Lobbies Face Off
    Nov 12, 2013 | Ken Silverstein

    When it leaked that the federal government may curtail its Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), the words started to pour from the mouths of the agricultural and oil communities.

    Comments: 4
  • Nov 11, 2013 | Jessica Kennedy

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making the coal industry nervous with a proposed rule that would impose new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from newly constructed power plants.  This would permit new coal plants to emit no more than 1,300-1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour.  While the rule is more lenient in its standards for coal plants than for those powered by natural gas, coal powered generating facilities will need carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology installed in order to meet the proposed requirement. 

    Comments: 3