Location: Harris School of Public Policy, Room 289B
Part I: Public utilities and their current regulatory and economic challenges
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of core considerations in the economic, legal and regulatory domaines with respect to the operation of public utilities in the energy field, specifically investor-owned utilities and the sort of independent power producers that have gained a degree of prominence in recent years. The first two weeks of the course will focus specifically on current regulatory and economic challenges faced by these businesses and some of the difficult business choices they are now facing with respect to, for example, capital investments, rate design, and fuel choice. The third session of the course will focus on global warming and core environmental issues and related regulations from the perspective of a major power company. The fourth and final class is designed to deal with the central issues facing operators of commercial nuclear power fleets. These issues range from licensing and re-licensing of plants at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the role of federal and state agencies in this process, spent fuel storage and final disposition in the absence of the option to reprocess spent fuel, and the near-term future of the nuclear power business in a world of historically low natural gas prices.
The course has been designed as a seminar where there will be active discussion and give and take on these and other topics.
Instructor: Rob Sloan