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Charlotte, NC, United States

Zarnikau J.,Frontier Capital | Zarnikau J.,University of Texas at Austin
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

The development of renewable energy in markets with competition at wholesale and retail levels poses challenges not present in areas served by vertically-integrated utilities. The intermittent nature of some renewable energy resources impact reliability, operations, and market prices, in turn affecting all market participants. Meeting renewable energy goals may require coordination among many market players. These challenges may be successfully overcome by imposing goals, establishing trading mechanisms, and implementing operational changes in competitive markets. This strategy has contributed to Texas' leadership among all US states in non-hydro renewable energy production. While Texas has been largely successful in accommodating over 9000. MW of wind power capacity, this extensive reliance upon wind power has also created numerous problems. Higher levels of operating reserves must now be procured. Market prices often go negative in the proximity of wind farms. Inaccurate wind forecasts have led to reliability problems. Five billion dollars in transmission investment will be necessary to facilitate further wind farm projects. Despite these costs, wind power is generally viewed as a net benefit. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Does an electricity market which has been restructured to foster competition provide greater opportunities for demand response than a traditional regulated utility industry? The experiences of the restructured Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market over the past eight years provide some hope that it is possible to design a competitive market which will properly value and accommodate demand response. While the overall level of demand response in ERCOT is below the levels enjoyed prior to restructuring, there have nonetheless been some promising advances, including the integration of demand-side resources into competitive markets for ancillary services. ERCOT's experiences demonstrate that the degree of demand participation in a restructured market is highly sensitive to the market design. But even in a market which has been deregulated to a large degree, regulatory intervention and special demand-side programs may be needed in order to bolster demand response. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Zarnikau J.,Frontier Capital | Zarnikau J.,University of Texas at Austin
Energy Efficiency | Year: 2012

A utility's profit-maximizing level of investment in energy efficiency or demand-side management (DSM) programs and mix of programs is affected by natural load growth, the frequency of rate cases, program costs, and the structure of any mechanism designed to either compensate the utility for foregone profits or sever the link between sales and profits. Under a range of reasonable assumptions, decoupling can incent a utility to invest in DSM. However, a utility experiencing high natural load growth and little inflation is likely to resist the imposition of a decoupling mechanism, as it would tend to lower profits. A utility with low growth in per-customer sales will tend to favor decoupling, as it will tend to lead to higher profits than under traditional regulation. The results presented here are quite sensitive to the assumptions made regarding natural load growth, regulatory lag, the frequency of price changes, price elasticity of demand, and other factors. This suggests that there is not a single approach to promoting energy efficiency without penalizing utility profits that will work in all situations for all utilities. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

News Article | July 14, 2015
Site: www.finsmes.com

The company intends to use the funds to maintain and accelerate growth, continue to enhance its platform, expand sales and marketing efforts Founded in 2008 by Pranav Tyagi, CEO, Tango provides large retail and restaurant companies with software solutions and consulting services to plan, develop and manage their real estate and store development activities. The company has served more than 120 retail brands, and its intelligent store lifecycle management solution is used by leading retail and restaurant enterprises, including Yum! Brands, Inc., Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., Big Lots, Lane Bryant and Tractor Supply Company.

News Article | August 9, 2015
Site: www.bloomberg.com

Vietnam’s stocks will extend Southeast Asia’s best rally as plans to ease share-ownership limits and a strengthening economy lure foreign inflows, according to Asia Frontier Capital and Coeli Asset Management. The benchmark VN Index has climbed 11 percent in 2015 through Friday’s close to the highest in five years relative to the MSCI Southeast Asia Index, which has tumbled 12 percent. Even after the gains, the Vietnamese gauge is valued at an 18 percent discount to the MSCI regional measure. Foreigners have bought $223.1 million of the nation’s stocks this year through Aug. 6, heading for the 10th straight annual purchase. While plunging commodity prices and the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates hammer shares from Indonesia to Thailand, frontier fund managers are more optimistic about the outlook for Vietnam, where the economy is growing at the fastest pace in two years and the ruling Communist Party is preparing to allow foreigners to increase stakes in certain industries. “We are generally very positive for the market,” said Thomas Hugger, chief executive officer at Hong Kong-based Asia Frontier Capital. “We continue to buy Vietnamese stocks, since we see good economic figures coming out from Vietnam and at the same time the stock market is trading at a discount.” The Vietnamese government is targeting economic growth of 6.2 percent in 2015, up from about 6 percent last year. Inflation has stayed below 1 percent in the first five months of the year, down from a peak of more than 28 percent in August 2008. The VN Index trades at 12 times reported earnings, versus the MSCI Southeast Asia’s 14.7 multiple. The Vietnamese gauge rose 1.8 percent on Monday, its biggest gain in almost three weeks. Regulators see foreign investment as one of the keys to growing the country’s stock market, where average daily trading volume on the main Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange is about one-10th that of Singapore, the region’s largest bourse. Vietnam is building a case for an upgrade to emerging-market status from frontier classification by MSCI Inc., the State Securities Commission said in October. “The liberalisation of the foreign ownership limits is a hugely significant event for the development of Vietnamese capital markets,” said James Bannan, who runs the $130 million Frontier Markets Fund at Coeli in Sweden. “The next critical step in opening up the markets is for the government to sell down its ownership interest in a large number of listed companies. Governments are rarely good owners of companies.” Bannan said he is continuing to add Vietnam stocks and prefers companies reliant on consumer spending. The government issued a decree on June 26 to allow overseas investors to increase holdings in certain industries to 100 percent from a current cap of 49 percent. For Project Asia Research & Consulting Pte., foreign investors may be deterred by the drawn-out process involved in companies getting approval to raise overseas ownership limits, while the continuing existence of state stakes or cross-shareholdings means minority investor rights will be limited. “Reforms are done at a slow pace and there is still a fear that they can get reversed if there is a downturn in the economy or the stock market,” said Attila Vajda, managing director at Project Asia Research, a Singapore-based advisory firm. The ownership-reform plan has been delayed since it was first proposed in 2013. Across the border in China, the ruling Communist Party has gone to extreme lengths to stop a $3.4 trillion equity rout from spilling into the wider economy, including banning selling by major shareholders and curbing short sales. Under Vietnam’s decree, to take effect in September, foreign holdings in sectors such as banks that are governed by separate ownership regulations will remain limited to 30 percent. A cap of 49 percent will apply to unspecified sectors. All other equities would have no limits, unless restricted by companies themselves. Guidelines will be issued this month, Vu Bang, chairman of the State Securities Commission said Aug. 6. The government’s steps to open up its corporate sector, coupled with youthful demographics and cheap labor, makes the nation one of the most compelling frontier markets in the region, says Shamoon Tariq, a Stockholm-based money manager at Tundra Fonder, which has $225 million in assets under management. The relaxation of ownership limits “is one step closer to an open-market mechanism foreigners like,” said Tariq, who said he’s continuing to buy the nation’s stocks. “It should attract international investors to a considerable degree.”

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