The emergence of Independent Power Producers, co-generation and the growth of distributed energy systems are among critical issues singled out in a new report on the U.S. power industry.SUNNYVALE, California, US, 2001-08-29 [SolarAccess.com] ‘Opportunities in the Changing U.S. Independent Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Industry’ addresses the issues and opportunities confronting investors, suppliers and distributors regarding all nine major power generation technologies. It explains how power generation business in most industrialized and some non-industrialized countries, is undergoing fundamental changes. Deregulation is being introduced gradually in the U.S., with half of the states introducing full or partial deregulation measures. Deregulation has introduced several uncertainties and, due to the developments in California, some states have begun questioning the overall benefits of deregulation and have decided to postpone action until the California situation stabilizes, notes the report. Some industry experts believe that unless the supply of power slightly exceeds demand, the intended benefits of deregulation will not be realized. The report describes market forces including deregulation of the power industry, loosening of the monopolistic hold of utilities in retail power distribution, increased environmental activism, and legislation against the use of nuclear, oil and coal for fuel. Other factors researched are the continued use of coal as the most available and inexpensive fuel source, increased use of natural gas and combined cycle power plants, emergence of IPPs, and co-generation systems, the growth of distributed energy systems, power being marketed as a commodity in future contracts on mercantile exchanges, independent power plant operators finding it very difficult to enter retail power distribution markets in direct competition with local utilities and some utilities finding it more profitable to sell power than produce it. The 120-page report sells for US$3,500.