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Last update:
21 November 2003
Anne Ku, author's note:
I entered the energy industry by way of my doctoral research on modelling for electricity capacity planning.
It's necessary to distinguish what's been "published" and what remains "unpublished." Technically speaking, whatever appears for the public should be considered "published." But here I'm showing the original drafts of published articles for interested readers.
By "unpublished", I mean not officially published and made available to the general audience. This could mean an internal corporate memo, a presentation, or something that didn't get into print.
By "published", I refer to a piece that's gone through the editing, sub-editing, and layout process. It's been printed in a magazine or newsletter or on a website.
It's not always possible to publish the original submitted version. Due to space constraint, an article may get substantially chopped. To improve readability and clarity, each article goes through sub-editing. But some readers still prefer the originals, hence the director's cut.
Original drafts of Anne Ku's work or extracts are linked from the titles.
Final published articles are available in PDF or HTML format.
For more information, please contact Anne Ku.
Dr Anne Ku, June 2002
24 June 2002
Replies to farewell
25 June 2002
External feedback
26 June 2002
Importance of feedback
27 June 2002
Working memories
28 June 2002
Fare thee well
Other (energy related) articles edited by Anne Ku.
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Energy articles by Anne Ku

the director's cut

original versions of articles by Anne Ku (published or unpublished)

about Anne Ku - writing about energy

Anne Ku publication list


Just published!
"Risk and flexibility in electricity: introduction to the fundamentals and techniques"

Order it at today!

Trading with a small t by Anne Ku (EPRM April 2003)

That exotic option called power by Anne Ku (published pdf)

published in RiskWater's Energy Power Risk Management (EPRM) monthly magazine, December 2002

EPRM cover Dec 2002

I received a call from the editor of EPRM in October asking me to write about exotic options. Since I never met him before, I wasn't sure what he wanted. In just a few sentences, he communicated that he wanted to know who's doing it. I had to guess the rest.

This phone call woke me up from my 4 month hibernation to an energy industry turned upside down. Americans had left Europe with a whimper after its big bang entry two years before. I spoke to traders and risk managers in London, Hamburg, and the US. Before long, I concluded that things weren't as they seemed.

Book Review by Anne Ku

HOBBS, Benjamin F., MEIER, Peter; Energy Decisions and the Environment: A Guide to the Use of Multicriteria Methods, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Massachusetts (2000), pp. 257

published in Journal of Energy Literature, December 2002

Order it from here!

This thin hardback was not easy to read. Even though the methodology (multi-criteria decision making methods) and application (energy and environment) were right up my street, I had to read it twice. My conclusion was that it's enough to convince the reader to hire consultants rather then attempt to do it yourself.

Click on the book if you want to find out more about it. Else read my review here.

Le Bon Journal Volume 1 Issue 9:
Enron: the end of endless possibilities (2 page PDF) in Le Bon Journal Newsletters
18 November 2002

Forecasting to understand uncertainty in electricity prices (May 2002) PDF (545 kB) HTML

After writing about demand forecasting, I thought I'd leave price forecasting to the experts. Price forecasting is nothing like demand forecasting. The issues are different. It was fun writing this final piece for Platts. One interesting thing about the experts I quoted - most of them had PhD's. In hindsight, I could have saved space by omitting the "Dr" in front of their names.

The art of forecasting demand (March 2002) PDF (806kB) HTML

Cover GEB March April 2002

One of my readers asked me about price forecasting. It was too big to tackle, so I started with demand forecasting instead (assuming that price is the intersection of supply and demand).

Originally I had intended to invite forecasting experts to submit their work and I'd edit. After rewriting one of them, I decided that I might as well write an article myself. This four page cover article precedes two contributed pieces on demand forecasting.

I suggested to the creative director to make forecasting charts like paintings. And I was pleasantly surprised by the resulting hues.

Utilities vaccine against enronitis (March 2002) - unpublished

reflections of Edison Electric Institute's Financial Conference in London in mid February 2002 at the Grosvenor House hotel in Mayfair. This was largely attended by chief financial officers of utilities and their equally interested bank analysts and ratings analysts. This was the beginning of the strive for transparency as a result of Enron's demise.

Sinking a lot of money into a black hole: ASP to the rescue (November 2001) PDF (558 kB) HTML

Cover GEB November December 2001

After I invited Dr Gary Vasey to write an article about the vendors of risk management and trading systems, I decided to interview these vendors and consultants. This was ongoing for almost a year before I came upon a storyline.

This seven page article is somewhat of a satire, on the observation that energy companies were paying lots of money for something that usually didn't get delivered on time or at all. The decision making process requires many different parties, aside from the users, and often this is a political one.

Web sources for climate change and emissions trading (November 1 , 2001)

published in Freepint internet newsletter

Coming to power: Automated deal and product structuring (September 2001) PDF (255 kB) HTML

Cover GEB September October 2001

The structuring desk on a trading floor puts all the pieces together. I had always wanted to understand how they did it. But the opportunity didn't arise until I was chasing after an economist about market design and just what he meant by combinatorial markets. This took me five months.

Then I needed to find an example of this combinatorial market. The closest one I could find was Electrade, which was still in its beta testing phase. Nevertheless, they were very cooperative and educated me about how they put the requirements of buyers and sellers together. The result was this four-page article with lots of illustrations.

Volunteering to fight global warming (July 2001) PDF (609 kB) HTML

It was extremely tricky to write this article on emissions trading at a time when the future of the Kyoto Protocol was up in the air. So I decided to theme it around the observation that some corporations were going ahead despite the uncertainty. It's better to be safe than sorry. I used my research to write another article for Freepint Newsletter on climate change web sites.

Betting on the weather (July 2001) PDF (303 kB) HTML

Cover GEB July August 2001

Five page article containing a time line of how weather derivatives were developed: Enron, Koch, or Aquila? Terminology of weather derivative indices and instruments. Power demand swap sidebar. Managing weather-related gas price volatility.

I had earlier written an article on weather information sources on the Web for Freepint Newsletter, following my setting up the European weather data for Platts' European power newsletter.

Straight through processing (May 2001)
long version: PDF HTML in Energy IT
short version: PDF HTML in Global Energy Business

Straight through processing, or STP for short, is really about integration and interfacing so that data can pass through as error-free and quickly as possible. It is supposed to reduce operational risk. But the reality is not so obvious.

Later I developed and moderated a 4.5 hour conference track (session) based on the integration theme - at the Energy IT conference in New Orleans, Jan 2002. The presentations in the IT Solutions for Energy Trading/Risk Management session are available as PDF files.

Session I. Overview of integration in energy trading/risk management Jill Feblowitz Session II. Front office integration: on-line exchanges and deal capture Shane Andrepont Session III. Back office integration: from automated deal confirmation to settlement Chris Papousek Session IV. Financial and physical integration Jeff Robbins Session V. Multi-commodity integration David Jewell Session VI. Enterprise risk management: global integration Ashley Abbott Session VII. Integration: the final word Andrew Bruce

Operational risk: deal confirmation (Mar 2001) PDF HTML

Risk management can largely be grouped into three types: market risk, credit risk, and operational risk. Here I try to make what is generally considered tedious and mundane into an exciting subject that even chief executive officers should know about.

German electricity market (Mar 2001) HTML

Not a level playing field. The original six page draft was cut down to three pages for the final version in Global Energy Business. But one managing director in Germany (quoted in this article) still uses the original version to introduce his contacts and US colleagues to the German electricity scene.

Energy information on the web (Dec 2000) HTML

from the perspective of the information seeker versus the information provider, this article was based on my 40-minute presentation with lots of energy links and descriptions given at a five day executive course in London Business School. While everyone uses the Internet, not many realise that there are many free and reliable information sources for energy.

related: Electric Power Information Sources on the Web by Anne Ku, published 1st March 2001 in Freepint internet newsletter

Online power trading (Nov 2000) HTML

Cover GEB November December 2000

original, unedited article submitted to Global Energy Business magazine, containing tables of online power exchanges. The original article was intended for a special report in BusinessWeek. Published.

I asked business development director Michael Hepburn and CEO Eddie Hor of Trayport, based in London, to educate me about online exchanges. They were developers of systems used by brokers to post and match bids of traders. After the three hour interview, I got enough of the basics to get started on this research.

Power price volatility and risk management (Sept 2000) HTML

original, unedited article submitted to Global Energy Business magazine, containing a table of exotic options used in power markets.

Deregulation: predicting timing of state retail access (May 1997)

methodology paper presented at INFORMS conference on predicting the timing of deregulation of the US power industry (with respect to access to the retail market) Unpublished.

Power pools (April 1997)

a survey of competitive power pools around the world, including gaming strategies. This was an internal report which I've edited for the general audience. Unpublished.