EME 801
Energy Markets, Policy, and Regulation

The Project, Specifically (Why so early?)


The Project, Specifically (Why so early?)

This course offers students a broad introduction to project decision-making in the energy industries, and the impacts that markets, institutions and regulations have on investments and decisions made by firms in the energy industries. Topics to be covered include a discussion of market structures for natural gas, crude-oil, transportation fuels and electric power; basic project evaluation and decision-making for energy projects; and the impacts of major environmental regulations at the state and federal level of the functioning of energy markets and energy project decision-making. - Directly from the course catalog.

As this course is part of a Master's Degree in professional Studies, real-world application of the concepts in the course is paramount to the design of this course. Consequently, we introduce the project in the first few weeks of the course so that the student can immediately begin to apply the course content presented in the following modules to a real-world problem, which the student hopefully either finds applicable to his current or future profession or just particularly interesting. Either way (or potentially both) the student will be learning the content with an eye to how the content about market structure and financial principles may have on the chosen project. The intent of the project is to allow you to define an interesting or important problem and learn how the dynamic regulatory and market landscape will affect outcomes. You will not be penalized for taking on too grand or too small a project. You will learn, however, as you go through the project, that you may have chosen too grand or too small a project... but, that is important learning, too. The design of the course and the intent of the instructor are to allow for corrections should this become a problem. Please understand that you are being granted some serious agency, here, and that should help you gain control of your own learning and success.  But also understand that the cohort and your instructor are available to help should the lack of "guardrails" be more of a hindrance than a help. The energy transition is very dynamic at this point in time. Therefore, the opportunity to generate a dynamic project without overwhelming constraints most closely reflects the industry that we are studying.  

The project will be defined as such:
Investigate an energy project that you as a developer or corporate decision maker would like to construct or replace. This investigation will include the development of a full financial model to inform investment decisions as well as test various scenarios for the project’s development. We will also develop a full stakeholder register and a review of how governmental policy would affect your project. The project will be worth 700 points of your grade. They will be divided scored as shown below:

Final Project Tasks with Associated Points Values
Task Points
1 Project Charter and Stakeholder Register 75
2 Development of Revenue Time Series 50
3 Development of Operating Expense Time Series 50
4 Development of Capital Costs 50
5 Development of Financial Metrics 50
6 Program Excel Financial Model 50
7 Development of Risk Management Measures 50
8 Development of Policy Sensitivities 50
9 Development of Electricity Market Sensitivities 50
10 Development of Fossil Fuel Market Sensitivities 50
11 Non-Financial Costs and Benefits 75
12 Final Presentation of Results 100
Total -- 700

Each of the tasks will require some quantification to ultimately assess the financial value of your project, but there will also be a required write-up of the derivation of your values. Instructions will be provided in each module on what is required.