Many in the United States’ power generation
industry no doubt long for the relative market
tranquility of the late 20th century. The generation
plants built and operated then were carbon-fueled
or nuclear-powered, with a few hydro-electric
plants sprinkled in. The economics were largely
stable and predictable, often thanks to regulation
that shielded utilities from market fluctuations.
But even in those simpler times, when the
market was far less volatile, there was still
much due diligence required when investors
and developers were considering multi-milliondollar commitments in new generation projects.
Today’s market is more volatile, due in large part
to the disruptive effect of low-cost natural gas
and the subsequent, rapid growth of affordable
As more uneconomical and inefficient generation
plants go offline, there is, for the most part,
sufficient carbon-free or carbon-reduced
generation to meet the growing demand for
electric energy. There are pockets of growth
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