Beta attended the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Annual Convention in Las Vegas in early June. EEI is a trade organization that serves investor-owned utilities, and the convention is a gathering place for industry leaders to discuss current issues and strategic plans.
Some general topics of discussion included regulatory issues, grid development/reliability, capital investment intensity, and power generation diversity.
More than ever, regulations are shaping the industry. Utilities must be more flexible than ever before in adapting to regulations in areas ranging from generation fuel sources to net metering.
Grid Development and Reliability
Grid reliability is also growing in importance as we become more dependent on automation and the electronic flow of information.
Capital investment has been at an all-time high in recent history, and this investment has strained resources and put pressure on electric rates.
Although economics would currently favor natural gas as a primary fuel source for generation, regulatory requirements and the desire to avoid dependence on a single fuel source encourage a diverse approach to generation that includes both traditional and renewable sources.