A question of priority

The US Energy Policy Act of 2005 calls for a review of existing power dispatch methods. But replacing today's regional methods with a one-size-fits-all plan throws up many concerns, writes Richard McMahon

At the heart of one provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EP Act) lies one vital question: which method for scheduling and prioritising the demands for electricity will result in the lowest costs for customers? The existing approach, which takes place at the regional and local level, or a new federal 'one-size-fits-all' plan? To find out, EP Act assigned the US Department of Energy (DoE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) to study this issue of economic dispatch.

At present

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