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New York City – the world’s energy finance capital and one of the world’s largest commodity trading marketplaces – is a fitting location for the Center on Global Energy Policy. As part of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, the center will seek to “provide independent, balanced, data-driven analysis to help policymakers navigate the complex world of energy.”

At Wednesday’s launch event, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was joined by energy experts and US government officials, who helped officially inaugurate the new energy policy initiative. Keep reading →


While there are some nagging questions, Texas is spending $6.8 billion on new transmission lines to deliver electricity from wind farms in West Texas to its major metro areas such as Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

And while it’s certainly a plus for the state, its economy and jobs, that transmission investment also is attracting developers who plan to spend $3.3 billion on new wind farms that will generate 1,633 MW of new capacity in the next two years, according to a story in Sustainable Business. Keep reading →


Power markets have always been a complex proposition, perhaps especially so in the places where they could do the most good. How to price the creation and delivery of a commodity that can’t be stored, is technologically complex to ship and often dirty to create where it isn’t unreliable?

Transmission is the central component of the traditional power market. The lines and towers are the only thing that can make power flow from lower priced areas to higher priced areas, and as part of managing access the administrators of these markets have begun to charge for Congestion Revenue Rights. In California, those CRRs have become a major market, with banks, trading houses and power marketing firms all getting in on the action since trading began in 2009. Keep reading →


With a bipartisan majority vote of 62-37, the Senate demonstrated its support for Keystone XL pipeline construction for the first time.

On March 22, the US Senate voted in favor of an amendment that supports construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL project, a 1,700-mile pipeline that would transport crude oil from Canada to Texas refineries. The amendment, introduced by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Max Baucus (D-Montana), passed the Senate by a 62-37 margin, with 17 Democrats joining all Republicans in the vote of support. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) abstained from the vote due to illness. Sens. Hoeven and Baucus also have proposed a separate bill that would facilitate Congressional approval of the project under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, bypassing the decision-making authority of President Obama. Keep reading →


At least twenty-two of the 29 state renewables standards have been attacked by legislators or regulators in the last year or are now under attack.

Known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) or a Renewable Energy Standard (RES), these mandates require utilities to obtain a portion of their power from renewable sources by a certain date. Research shows they add less than 5 percent, on average, to the cost of electricity bills and are an effective driver of renewables growth. Keep reading →


Dear Editorial Board,

The state of Connecticut is about to consider its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – which currently requires at least 20 percent of electricity come from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2020. A hearing on legislation to update the RPS was held last week, with the Energy & Technology Committee scheduled to act on energy bills on March 28. At issue: What types of energy should be included in the RPS, and is there a role for large Canadian hydropower? Keep reading →


The Colorado Public Utilities Commission on Thursday ruled that Xcel Energy will not be able to collect the $16.6 million balance it says it is owed for work performed on the SmartGridCity project in Boulder.

The ruling is in line with an earlier decision by an administrative law judge that the utility should not be allowed to collect the remaining $16.6 million in costs it incurred in the project because it had not met established criteria demonstrating customer benefits, according to a story in the Boulder County Business Report. Keep reading →


Crude oil production in Alaska has been steadily declining for years with potentially dire consequences for the Trans Alaska Pipeline System and the state’s tax revenue base.

“Alyeska today is working to respond to the challenges posed by declining throughput. Throughput peaked at 2.1 million barrels a day in 1988. It has only steadily decreased since. In 2011, Alyeska on average moved about 600,000 barrels per day. With the lower flow levels, the crude oil takes longer to reach the Valdez Terminal – about 2 weeks, on average – and the oil is colder on arrival. The slower, colder oil has more potential for water and wax to settle and drop out, and as throughput declines further, the potential for ice to form during shutdown or flowing conditions increases,” according to operator Alyeska Pipeline Service Company’s website. Keep reading →


When Austin Energy put out a request for proposal for a new advanced distribution management system (ADMS) in early 2012, the Texas utility compiled more than 4,200 requirements that the vendor would have meet to win the contract.

The project will involve a combined outage management and distribution management system and also a SCADA system specifically for the distribution system, something that Austin did not already have. Keep reading →


The BGS Auction in early February triggered an increase in prices, lifting them to $130 for RY 2013 SRECs. Now a month after the close of the BGS and with the upcoming EDC Auction as the next large market event in sight, RY 2013 SREC prices have softened slightly from their six-month peak. The spot contract traded to $117.50 on March 8. Karbone anticipates that prices could potentially retreat further in the lead up to the March 19th EDC Auction, when 53,000 to 62,000 RY 2013 SRECs will be introduced to the market.

Annual Installation Potential Breakdown Keep reading →

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