Download California's Electricity Crisis by Sweeney J.L. PDF

By Sweeney J.L.

For policymakers and others with a major curiosity in getting past finger-pointing, Sweeney (management technology and engineering, Stanford U.) itemizes the chain of occasions that led California to restructure its electrical energy method, the motives for the failure of that restructuring in 2001, and classes for the longer term.

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Sample text

ER96-1663-000 and EC96-19-000. The applications were filed after the CPUC restructuring Order but before passage of AB 1890. These applications were approved only after AB 1890 was signed into law. FERC took due note of the passage of AB 1890 during its proceedings. C A L I F O R N I A’ S R E S T R U C T U R I N G 39 jurisdictional split between federal and state regulators was left to the various parties to work out. The parties were left by AB 1890 with many complex and potentially divisive issues to work out and very little time to accomplish that end.

Any bids higher than the cut-off price would be disregarded, just as under the marketclearing system, whereas any bids lower would be accepted. Bidders would be paid the price they bid rather than the market-clearing price. The total cost of all purchases would be averaged, and the buyers would each pay the average bid price. Many have argued that a system of paying on an as-bid basis, rather than on a market-clearing basis, would result in smaller total payments by the buyers of electricity. After all, those bidding to sell at prices below the cut-off price would not receive the cutoff price but would receive only their bid prices.

Those paying a real-time price could choose hedging contracts with third parties to reduce the risk. The CPUC restructuring Order included one provision that some have interpreted as imposing a price cap on retail electricity prices. The language of the Order is as follows: One of the goals of this proceeding is to lower the price consumers pay for electricity. Recovery of transition costs frustrates this goal because it is possible that the surcharge will exceed price decreases in a given year, resulting in higher electricity-related costs for consumers.

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