Energy M&A: Off to the Races

February 20, 2013 13:04 by Clayton Reeves in Energy, M&A  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
General mergers & acquisitions in the United States are taking place at the fastest rate since before the Great Recession.  Retail giants Office Max and Office Depot are combining to form a more efficient global purveyor of office goods and supplies.  Market mover Warren Buffett joined another firm in buying all the stock of H.J. Heinz Co. for a cool $23 billion.  Two weeks ago, Michael Dell took the company bearing his name private, in a leveraged deal that looked a lot like a pre-recession transaction.  Liberty Global bought British Cable business Virgin Media for $16 billion. Energy/oil & gas M&A has been particularly robust, hitting a 10 year high according to PwC in Houston.  Q4 activity increased overall deal volume in 2012 to a 10-year high at 204 transactions when counting only deals valued at $50 million+.  These deals represent $146.2 billion, the second highest total deal value in ten years.  The recovery in energy M&A seen last quarter was driven by several factors, according to PwC; these included urgency to finish deals before potential tax changes, an increase in shale play popularity and improving private equity interest. Read more here.

What Can a Regulated Electric Utility Learn from Moneyball?

February 12, 2013 15:21 by Bill Conway in Energy  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The use of non-traditional statistics and measurements has revolutionized the way certain major league baseball teams view the sport and draft and sign players. The similarities between baseball and utility business are significant, considering the growing influence of technology on utility operations. As a baseball fan and a participant in the utility world, this analytical approach has a role in both industries. [More]

Best to go Nuclear in the BRICs

February 12, 2013 15:08 by Bill Conway in Energy, Regulation  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
Considering 44 of the 50 nuclear facilities under construction are being built in the BRICs, do we need to rethink the way we regulate new nuclear plants in America? Utility companies have long argued for the inclusion of construction related costs in rates, but this has been resisted in many jurisdictions. Duke Energy’s recent announcement that it will retire a nuclear power plant in Florida rather than pay the repair bill, casts doubt over the role of the nuclear power industry as we have know it in this country. [More]

The Power of Natural Gas

January 31, 2013 11:24 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Energy, Engineering & Construction, Regulation  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The enhanced natural gas extraction technologies and the resulting abundant supply and attractive pricing have many finally embracing the natural gas market. However, market participants need not to lose focus on the benefits of a diversified generation portfolio and the fact the current natural gas delivery pipeline infrastructure is not sufficient to support the "gas boom". [More]

New Financing Options for Renewable Energy?

January 31, 2013 11:15 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency, Financing, Renewables  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
The discussion around allowing renewable energy resources, primarily solar and wind, to be held in Master Limited Partnerships or Real Estate Investment Trusts will certainly enhance the future economic viability of these resources. The question remains whether the current "tug-of-war" over taxes and spending in Washington, will allow for this change to occur. [More]

Battery Storage = A Game Changer

January 24, 2013 14:28 by Bill Conway in Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)
The ability to store power in off-peak or low consumption periods in an efficient and cost effective manner could change the electric generation landscape. Battery storage can address the variability of renewable generation and how to more efficiently use renewable resources. [More]

Minnesota Electric Coop Offers Members Solar Power

January 18, 2013 15:09 by Bill Conway in Cooperatives, Energy, Energy Efficiency  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
For $869, members of Wright-Hennepin Electric Cooperative can purchase a solar panel, and the output from a solar array, to be built near the electric cooperative’s headquarters. This is an innovative means for residential electric consumers to purchase solar power without the installation requirements of retro-fitting each individual home, not to mention the challenge of evaluating optimal sun exposure. The community solar concept removes the implementation questions surrounding how residential consumers can participate in renewable power projects. [More]

VC Dollars Disappear in Clean Energy

January 17, 2013 09:54 by Bill Conway in Energy  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
Venture Capital’s presence in the clean energy space has vanished in recent years. Is it due to the expiration of incentives? The lack of exit opportunities? The high-profile bankruptcies? Or the lack of competitive products? Regardless, the clean energy market needs seed capital to exist. [More]

Politics, Power & Grid Investments

January 10, 2013 09:52 by Bill Conway in Energy, Engineering & Construction, Regulation  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)
Modernizing the electric grid should be a top priority of our country, as much of the existing infrastructure is “past its prime” and is “stressed” in many areas. The effects of Super Storm Sandy highlighted weaknesses in the system that need to be addressed to ensure the continued flow of electricity. [More]

Wind Energy Incentives Blow for Another Year

January 3, 2013 14:22 by Bill Conway in Accounting & Tax, Energy  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)
The extension of the production tax credits for wind energy will give clarity to the industry, but a long-term solution needs to be adopted to provide long-term stability for the manufacturers, developers, and users of wind power. The stage is now set for the industry and the politicians to develop a viable solution. [More]

Past Posts