Electric Choices: Deregulation and the Future of Electric Power

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Electricity is one of the largest and most vital industries in the U.S. economy, with sales exceeding $200 billion annually. While electricity represents the backbone of commerce, industry, and household production, the structure of the industry has been changing in rather dramatic ways. After being heavily regulated for more than a century by local, state, regional, and federal authorities, deregulation is taking center stage. In general, deregulation results in lower prices, more product choices, and more rapid technological advances. Conversely, rate regulation has inherent flaws, including the encouragement of waste and inefficiency, and a retarding of innovation. There is little doubt to the contributors of this book that putting regulation aside offers enormous efficiency gains in the production of electricity. But can market forces handle the delicate matter of transmitting electricity when the simple model of supply and demand must be more precise than other goods and services? How much regulation does the electric industry need? The essays in this timely collection explore these difficult questions and propose a new, market-based plan to improve America's electrical future. Published in cooperation with The Independent Institute.

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Editorial Reviews

Contributors to this volume are of high qualtiy and offer signicant insight into the way forward in the electric utility industry. This publication should be of interest to scholars, utility executives, and policy makers. Highly recommended.
Richard J. Gilbert
The excellent book Electric Choices describes the promises of electricity deregulation, the mistakes made in the past, and the path to workable competition in this industry. Highly recommended.
Pablo T. Spiller
This excellent book provides an agenda out of the impasse in which the U.S. has found itself following the California energy debacle and the wider crisis in electric power. Electric Choices is a must read.
G. Mitchell Wilk
Electric Choices should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in the electricity industry, and who wants to learn from the mistakes California made. These leading experts explain why and how well-run markets are the best deal electricity customers are going to find.
Peter Cramton
Electric Choices is a superb book that addresses what we have learned from restructuring experiences to date and presents important methods from economics with which to analyze these basic questions.
Peter M. Schwarz
Electric Choices provides theoretical, experimental, and empirical support for forging ahead to achieve efficiencies that will not come about in a regulated environment where utilities expect to recover their costs plus profit and have few incentives to respond energetically to customer demand. This book will move the reader beyond the electricity-restructuring impasse in the aftermath of the California debacle and the Northeast Blackout to find areas where deregulation is likely to be desirable.
Ahmad Faruqui
Electric Choices is a first-rate book featuring some of the nation's leading energy analysts and belongs on the bookshelf of every scholar, policy wonk, and utility executive.
Adam Rose
This collection by leading authorities on electricity industry restructuring should be valuable reading for those interested in learning from previous successes and failures in this important area of public policy. It contains both broader analytical pieces and case studies in the U.S. and abroad. The papers provide not only specific policy reforms but also methods by which to design and evaluate them. The coverage is broad, including creation of pricing innovations, demand-side behavior, the role of coordinating agents, investment decisions, distributed generation, and reliability. The volume should be of interest to analysts, business managers in a variety of industries, electricity customers, and public-policy makers. I recommend this book to all those interested in exploring both the larger issues and the subtleties of the topic, no matter which side of the policy debate they favor.
James D. Reitzes
This insightful work covers the major challenges still facing electricity restructuring, showing both the dangers and possibilities associated with regulatory change. Its breadth is impressive, as there are contributions on such diverse topics as market design, wholesale market power, transmission investment, system reliability, demand-side management, and the role of distributed generation.
Contributors to this volume are of high qualtiy and offer signicant insight into the way forward in the electric utility industry. This publication should be of interest to scholars, utility executives, and policy makers. Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742548763
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.83 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew N. Kleit is professor of energy and environmental economics at the Pennsylvania State University. He has been an economist for the Federal Trade Commission and the Council of Economic Advisers. Dr. Kleit is the coeditor of Competition Policy Enforcement: The Economics of the Antitrust Process (1996).

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Table of Contents

Foreword     vii
Introduction   Andrew N. Kleit     1
Can Electricity Restructuring Survive? Lessons from California and Pennsylvania   Timothy J. Considine   Andrew N. Kleit     9
The Role of Retail Pricing in Electricity Restructuring   L. Lynne Kiesling     39
Using Experiments to Inform the Privatization/Deregulation Movement in Electricity   Vernon L. Smith   Stephen J. Rassenti   Bart J. Wilson     63
Electricity Industry Restructuring: The Alberta Experience   Terry Daniel   Joseph Doucet   Andre Plourde     91
Transactions Costs and the Organization of Coordination Activities in Power Markets   Craig S. Pirrong     113
Market-based Transmission Investments and Competitive Electricity Markets   William W. Hogan     135
Preventing Monopoly or Discouraging Competition? The Perils of Price-Cost Tests for Market Power in Electricity   Timothy J. Brennan     163
The Role of Distributed Energy Resources in a Restructured Power Industry   David E. Dismukes     181
Post-Blackout Reliability Policy: A Robust, Flexible Twenty-first-century Grid   L. Lynne Kiesling   Michael Giberson     209
Index     229
About theContributors     241
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