For more than half a century, NERA’s economists have advised on the development and reform of regulatory frameworks and competitive markets for power and utility services around the world. Today, NERA’s experts continue to assist utility clients with complex matters of price regulation, competition, and market design. Our work increasingly focuses on the challenges these industries face to mitigate and adapt to climate change, replace fossil fuels with low carbon and renewable energy sources, electrify transport and heating demand, and accommodate changes in how customers consume utility services due to smart metering and enhancements in Distributed Energy Resource technologies.
NERA’s experts combine deep understanding of economics with vast global experience supporting the power, utilities, and renewable industries and the supply chains supporting these industries. Our experience spans the whole power and utilities value chain: conventional and renewable power generation, competitive power procurement processes, wholesale market design, regulation of transmission pricing, and access to the regulation of electricity, gas, and water utilities. Across these areas, NERA works on the most important, high-profile matters that affect consumer, investor, and national interests.
NERA’s power, utilities, and renewables experts focus on advisory matters and disputes. On advisory assignments, we assist companies, regulators, investors, and policymakers in developing, evaluating, and enhancing policy reforms and trade matters, as well as on business strategy and major investment decisions. In disputes, our experts prepare written evidence and present oral testimony in international arbitration, commercial litigation, bankruptcy, antitrust investigations, and regulatory proceedings.
NERA experts support power and utility companies and regulators to analyze wholesale and retail rates—including cost of capital—with cost-of-service analyses, rate design, and a wide range of other regulatory disputes. We conduct economic, market, and environmental impact analyses associated with new energy and other infrastructure. In addition, we solve challenges of integrating distributed energy resources (DERs) into the wider power system efficiently, including rooftop solar, demand-side management, and on-site generation at industrial sites.
NERA has a long history advising regulators, governments, and market participants on the design of competitive wholesale and retail markets and market rules. Our experts support reform of established power markets due to growth in intermittent, zero-marginal cost technologies and the emergence of electricity storage. We have also provided support to our clients developing regulations to harness competition in the provision of major infrastructure like transmission upgrades and major water resource schemes.
NERA experts have advised clients and provided testimony in bankruptcy proceedings, an emerging trend in energy due to risks such as wildfires, stresses on traditional utility business models, and out-of-market contracts rejected by debtors.
Auctions and Power Procurement
With regard to auctions, NERA experts assist clients with design and implementation as well as competitive procurement processes (e.g., allowing market participants to acquire power from deregulated generators, auction design for infrastructure capacity, and assessing renewables attributes). We support bidders in renewables procurement and capacity market tenders. Regarding power procurement, we develop new procurement mechanisms for emerging technologies (e.g., storage and demand response).
Business and Utility Advisory
NERA experts advise clients on key business decisions including risk management, load forecasting, resource choice, contracting strategy for renewables, and retirement analyses.
Antitrust and Competition
Our experts support clients’ applications seeking regulatory approval for mergers and acquisitions as well as market-based rate authority and state aid clearance and advise on market power mitigation in power and utility markets. We also provide expert evidence to competition litigation proceedings, including market manipulation and other claims of anticompetitive behavior, appeals against enforcement decisions, economic damages claims, and collective actions.
Arbitration and Commercial Litigation
Our experts have provided testimony on economic damages and other industry expert opinions within international arbitration proceedings and commercial litigation, including those stemming from claims of breach of contract, partnerships and joint ventures, construction delays, expropriation, class actions, securities matters, intellectual property, and other commercial and investor-state disputes.
We develop and evaluate policy interventions such as market restructuring, liberalization, and the introduction of competition. In addition, our experts evaluate decarbonization and other environmental regulations, including with macroeconomic and cost-benefit analyses. We also help our clients design regulatory support schemes for preferred technologies like renewables, such as feed-in tariffs and net metering.
Our experts provide regulatory and commercial due diligence services to power and utility investors and market due diligence and price forecasting to power sector investors, increasingly involving new technologies like renewables, renewable gas, hydrogen, and storage.