The collapse of wholesale markets has utilities once again making the purchasing decisions, and taking all the risks.
If a common theme is emerging from the various policy directions across the country, it seems to be that responsibility for supply resources is moving away from open markets and back into the hands of load-serving utilities.
Experts say that many of the new policies by the PUC and the state legislature seem to be putting the Golden State on track for more blackouts.
Although California's electricity crisis reached its worst point two years ago, utilities, consumers, and other market participants continue to fear a recurrence of the supply shortages and price spikes that added $40 billion to the cost of electricity over a horrific 13-month period.
How state opposition cowed the feds and turned a powerful rule into just a set of talking points.
A funny thing happened on the way to a standard market design (SMD). What began as a full-fledged rulemaking-with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) giving instructions and imposing deadlines on the electric utility industry-now has degenerated into little more than a set of talking points.
Talk about cold feet.
Retail Energy in 2002: A Regulatory About-face
State regulators redouble their deregulation efforts-or abandon them altogether.
The past year was a phenomenal one for state public utility regulators.
A historical confluence of events, including the catastrophic failure of the move to deregulate California electric markets and a nationwide epidemic of corporate financial scandals, led in large part by energy trading firms, helps to explain the developments.
Looking beyond ranking utilities on price.
It's tempting to compare rates between utilities- to use those simple rankings as regulatory carrots and sticks-but those who do may play a dangerous game. While such rankings may appear compelling, they can add an inappropriate bias to the regulatory process and penalize well-performing electric utilities that operate in high-cost service territories, such as large metropolitan areas.
Some thoughts on who should take the lead and how to set up financial incentives.
One of the most interesting questions that arises from federal restructuring of the electric grid, with regional transmission organizations (RTOs) and a standard market design (SMD), concerns the risk of building transmission in an RTO environment.
And where the trouble spots lie in FERC's grid plan.
The mood appeared calm on June 26 in Washington, D.C., at the regular bi-weekly meeting of the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Key officials from various regional transmission organizations (RTOs) had gathered before chairman Pat Wood and the other commissioners to brief them on progress over the past year in reforming wholesale electric markets, and on what the FERC might expect in the summer at hand.