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Overland Park, Kan.-based Black & Veatch, a global engineering, consulting and construction company, has released the results of its third annual "Strategic Directions in the Electric Utility Industry" survey showing system reliability, aging workforce and infrastructure among the top concerns.

The 2008 report identifies issues and concerns on the minds of U.S. power industry leaders. Also, this year's survey includes a detailed look at the acceptance and implementation plans for demand-side management and energy-efficiency programs.

This year, as in past surveys, nuclear power was regarded as the preferred technology for meeting future base load power needs.

"Some of the most interesting results pertained to climate change and related legislation," says Richard Rudden, senior vice president in Black & Veatch's enterprise management solutions division, and the executive sponsor for the survey. "In 2008, respondents were more reserved than in 2007 about the likelihood of greenhouse gas legislation being passed by 2011 or 2012."

Last year, 72% of respondents believed that legislation would be passed by 2011 or 2012. This year, only 58% believed this would occur. The survey also found that only a third of all respondents had a significant degree of confidence in the science underlying climate change policy.

The full survey can be accessed at bv.com.

SOURCE: Black & Veatch

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