Let’s face it, regulators won’t let U.S. utilities die; they SHOULD update rules to better serve customers by allocating costs to those who benefit from them

The tally of utilities and governments around the world imposing or boosting fixed charges for grid-supplied electricity is rising to make up for the decline in traditional, rate-based revenue.  In the U.S. this has been due primarily to ever-improving energy efficiency and the end of year-to-year increases in electricity usage. Now, the demand curve looks […]

With demand response & distributed energy growing: how long will regulators preserve traditional utilities’ business models?

In the six months since a consultant to the Edison Electric Institute wrote a paper describing “Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business,” many utility officials, analysts, investors and consultants have been mulling over how investor-owned electric utilities may have to change principally due to the growth of demand […]

Phase-out of wind production tax credit could help secure its extension

Amid the lame-duck rush to conclude the 112th Congress, the proposed extension of the 10-year wind energy production tax credit, or PTC, is one of the two big energy issues President Obama has to juggle as he prepares for his second term and tries to keep the U.S. economy from falling off the ‘fiscal cliff’. […]

EVs, efficiency, offshore wind are driving U.S. clean tech job creation

With a bit of interpretation from yours truly, here’s a quick read on this year’s Clean Edge report on ‘Clean Tech’ job trends: 1. Clean-tech jobs are spouting in Mexico, not just China. It’s proximity to North American markets begs for more investment there. 2. Feed-in-fariffs are boosting renewable energy apptetites, but payment formulas can make progress unsustainable. Check out […]

Prospects for solar incentives from the 2011 Texas Legislature

With wind energy already a huge success in the Long Star state and inexpensive natural gas offering a low-cost option for additional utility-scale power generation, the prospects for first-ever incentives throughout most of Texas are murky. The Texas Legislature, which meets only in the odd years, came very close with three bills in 2009 but […]

What passage of California Proposition 23 could mean

Perhaps THE outcome with the most impact on Election Day Nov. 2 for renewable energy advocates and critics alike will be whether California voters elect to pull back on their Global Warming Act of 2006, aka AB 32.  Proposition 23 would suspend the law just as California is about to make measurable progress reducing its […]