Feb. 6, 2004 — The March 2004 issue of EL&P will include a special update on public power and rural electric cooperatives. The issue also will cover venture capital investment, grid security and billing automation.
Industry report: Public power & rural electric cooperatives
Although their business models differ from those of IOUs, public power and RECs have had to weather their own storms over the last year or so. We’ll take an in-depth look at the industry from their perspectives-lessons learned, successes, and continuing challenges.
Finance: Venture capital investment
What level of interest does the energy technology sector hold for venture capitalists today, and where does the interest lie? The need for innovation in the energy sector seems inherently apparent, but is the economic climate favorable?
Transmission & distribution: Grid security
This article provides an in-depth analysis of the deteriorating power transmission infrastructure. We’ll discuss why the nation’s electric grid may be easy prey for terrorism and steps that must be taken to decrease utilities’ vulnerabilities.
A companion article will address the reliability of electricity delivery in the U.S., including a discussion of how it has become apparent that under-investment in transmission was not a direct cause of the August blackout, nor was the existence of electricity markets in some of the affected areas.
Information technology & CIS/CRM: Billing/e-billing
This case study details how one utility improved their accounts receivable and decreased their disconnects by using an automated payment reminder system. The utility reduced service disconnects by 75 percent, saved thousands in postage costs, and cut 15 man-hours per week.
Generation: Distributed generation
After shrinking significantly in 2002, the market for distributed energy resources (DER) such as engine generators, microturbines, and fuel cells began to rebound in 2003. A new study estimates there are more than 12,000 North American energy users with demand in the 100 kW to 10 MW range that are strong prospects for DER. But the challenge for distributed energy providers remains: how can these prospects be converted into DER buyers? This article presents answers to this question.