The merger voltage (I) is rising on the electric grid, but it remains to be seen which will win out: current (E) policy or resistance (R) to it. The textbook formula, I equals E over R, won't help you find the answer to this question.
In its March 1995 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR),1 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) accepted two basic assumptions: 1) that in the wholesale market, electric generation is fully competitive (at least for new, as-yet unbuilt plants), and 2) that an open-access regime for electric transmission will eliminate unfair competition in retail markets. But there is room for doubt, since the second theory rests by necessity on the first, which itself has yet to be proven.
That is because the "wholesale market" that many, including Professor Joskow at MIT2 have been looking at, is only the market for the sale of bulk-power supply by one utility bulk-power supplier to another, or by a nonutility generator (NUG) to a bulk supplier. Few have thought to consider the purchase options available to a retail distributor of power not also in the bulk-power supply business, even though this market is by far the largest part of the wholesale supply of electric power.
Consider the distributor that is generation-dependent. This