When your company’s job is to keep the lights on, you have to be cautious about risk. Power has to be there when people need it.
Risk comes in different forms, and there are times when business as usual becomes a risk in itself. America’s electric utilities are approaching just such a moment.
Across the country, a generation of power plants and transmission systems is aging and needs to be replaced. At the same time, rules on pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are tightening. Clean energy technologies are getting cheaper and gaining market share. These shifts coincide with record spending: Utilities are expected to make $2 trillion in capital investments over the next 20 years – about double their recent spending rate.
How to move forward in this complex, risky environment? That’s the subject of a new report from Ceres, Practicing Risk-Aware Electricity Regulation: What Every State Regulator Needs to Know.
The industry experts who wrote the report analyzed a range of investment decisions utilities could make over the next two decades – decisions that will determine which utilities prosper and how their shareholders, ratepayers, and the wider society will be affected. The economic as well as environmental stakes are high.