Continental Economics provides expert economic services for a wide range of energy-related matters, including rate regulation in state, national, and international venues; regulatory and public policy analysis; cost-benefit, analysis; litigation; market power analysis; asset valuation studies; market analysis, market design; transmission system modeling and analysis; environmental policy; and finance. To all of these issues, we provide rigorous, defensible, and understandable economic analysis, a solid grounding in economics, finance, and regulatory law, in-depth research, and tremendous industry experience. See the list below for a detailed summary of our services:
Rate Regulation and Public Policy
We address all facets of the energy industry affecting our clients’ business decisions. From the design of new market-based mechanisms to the “nuts and bolts” aspects of rate cases, our experts leverage extensive economic, financial, and litigation experience to address complex regulatory issues, estimate the value of capital assets (and identify key factors affecting those values), and develop investment strategies in the face of ongoing market and regulatory uncertainties. Our experts have testified on almost every aspect of regulated rate cases, including the cost of capital, cost of service and rate design, depreciation, and prudence. We also provide comprehensive training seminars on regulatory economics and methodologies for regulators, attorneys, and industry professionals.
We have extensive experience performing cost-benefit studies in certificate of public need applications (e.g., for high-voltage transmission lines), hydroelectric plant relicensing applications,and general public policy. Using our industry expertise, state-of-the-art analytical tools, and rigorous economic and financial analysis, we provide the support and expert testimony necessary to defend our clients’ interests.
We have extensive experience in numerous facets of energy litigation, including contract disputes, damage estimates, regulatory proceedings in state, federal and international venues, and mergers and acquisitions. Using our industry expertise, state-of-the-art analytical tools, and rigorous economic and financial analysis, we provide the support and expert testimony necessary to defend our clients’ interests.
Economic Impact Studies
Often, policy makers want to know how new infrastructure development will affect a local, regional, or state economy, especially how such development affects jobs. We have performed many such impact studies, such as geothermal power plants, nuclear generation uprates, and as part of FERC hydroelectric plant relicensing applications.
Market Power Analysis
An absence of market power is crucial to realize the benefits of competitive energy markets. We combine solid academic grounding, rigorous quantitative analysis, and extensive industry expertise to assess market participants’ abilities to exercise horizontal and vertical market power. We have provided advice and expert testimony addressing a wide range of anticompetitive practices, including cross-subsidies between regulated and unregulated affiliates, mergers and acquisitions, and access to transmission systems and other “bottleneck” facilities.
Informed decisions require an understanding of the changing market conditions that pervade the energy industry. Our experts have an in-depth understanding of market designs that affect firm performance, including auction designs and implementation used in wholesale market acquisitions, asset divestitures and purchases, and power supply contracts. We provide assistance and expert testimony on energy risk management and hedging strategies; “least-cost” generation, transmission, and distribution expansion analysis; and market power modeling for market-based rate applications, merger and acquisition analysis, and antitrust disputes.
The task of developing appropriate business and environmental compliance strategies has become far more complex due to heightened concerns about the environmental impacts of energy resource development. These concerns have resulted in new environmental regulations and continued uncertainty about the nature and scope of future regulation. We provide a wide range of services, including cost-benefit analysis under uncertainty; compliance strategies to determine appropriate pollution control investments; negotiation and arbitration strategies to resolve development, permitting, and relicensing conflicts; risk analysis; environmental impact statement support; and economic impact analysis.
The ever- changing nature of worldwide energy markets, and greater levels of price volatility and uncertainty, have increased the importance of determining sound financial strategies. We have extensive knowledge and experience and the use of advanced economic and financial modeling tools. We offer financial strategy and policy advice, regulated rate of return analysis, risk management, transaction support, asset and contract valuation, fairness and solvency opinions, and risk analysis to assist our clients.