|NRG ENERGY, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/01/2018|
Policies at the national, regional and state levels to regulate GHG emissions, as well as mitigate climate change, could adversely impact NRG's results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
NRG's GHG emissions for 2017 can be found in Item 1, Business — Environmental Matters. In 2015, the EPA promulgated the final GHG emissions rules for new and existing fossil-fuel-fired electric generating units, which have been stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court and the EPA has proposed repealing.
The Company operates generating units in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and New York that are subject to RGGI, which is a regional cap and trade system. In 2013, each of these states finalized a rule that reduced and will continue to reduce the number of allowances through 2020. The nine RGGI states re-evaluated the program and published a model rule to further reduce the number of allowances. The revisions being currently contemplated could adversely impact NRG's results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
California has a CO2 cap and trade program for electric generating units greater than 25 MW. The impact on the Company depends on the cost of the allowances and the ability to pass these costs through to customers.
Hazards customary to the power production industry include the potential for unusual weather conditions, which could affect fuel pricing and availability, the Company's route to market or access to customers, i.e., transmission and distribution lines, or critical plant assets. The contribution of climate change to the frequency or intensity of weather-related events could affect NRG's operations and planning process.
NRG's retail businesses are subject to changing state rules and regulations that could have a material impact on the profitability of its business lines.
The competitiveness of NRG's retail businesses partially depends on state regulatory policies that establish the structure, rules, terms and conditions on which services are offered to retail customers. These state policies, which can include controls on the retail rates NRG's retail businesses can charge, the imposition of additional costs on sales, restrictions on the Company's ability to obtain new customers through various marketing channels and disclosure requirements, which can affect the competitiveness of NRG's retail businesses. Additionally, state or federal imposition of net metering or RPS programs can make it more or less expensive for retail customers to supplement or replace their reliance on grid power. NRG's retail businesses have limited ability to influence development of these policies, and its business model may be more or less effective, depending on changes to the regulatory environment.
The Company's international operations are exposed to political and economic risks, commercial instability and events beyond the Company's control in the countries in which it operates, which risks may negatively impact the Company's business.
The Company's international operations depend on products manufactured, purchased and sold in the U.S. and internationally, including in countries with political and economic instability. In some cases, these countries have greater political and economic volatility and greater vulnerability to infrastructure and labor disruptions than in NRG's other markets. The Company's business could be negatively impacted by adverse fluctuations in freight costs, limitations on shipping and receiving capacity, and other disruptions in the transportation and shipping infrastructure at important geographic points of exit and entry for the Company's products. Operating and seeking to expand business in a number of different regions and countries exposes the Company to a number of risks, including:
The occurrence of one or more of these events may negatively impact the Company's business, results of operations and financial condition.