Download The California energy crisis : lessons for a deregulating by Will McNamara PDF

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By Will McNamara

California was once the 1st to open its electrical energy markets to pageant (1998) and is frequently considered as a prototype for deregulation that's unfolding on a state-by-state foundation around the usa. during this e-book, strength columnist and think-tank analyst Will McNamara takes readers into the guts of the California power situation and recounts the proof surrounding California's deregulation. He info who its major avid gamers have been, the basis explanations of its failure, the makes an attempt at solution, 're-regulation', and the price-cap debate. additional, he clarifies the typical incorrect information surrounding the California strength trouble, and attracts strategies to the inherent difficulties of the California version as different states decontrol their electrical energy markets. The e-book offers an intensive research of the inherent industry flaws that existed within the California version for electrical deregulation; bargains insights from a nationally well-known strength analyst who has tracked the California strength markets through the Nineteen Nineties; and, places key advancements of California's deregulation into priceless context

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Reportedly, reservoir levels during 2000 were half of 24 McNama Ch02(17-38) 2/26/02 4:06 PM Page 25 The Root Causes of the California Energy Crisis normal, and stream flows into them were only 30% of normal. As a result, utilities that had depended on hydroelectric power were forced to supplement their energy needs with power purchases on the wholesale market. Also, like California, supply did not keep pace with demand in the Pacific Northwest. While the population has increased dramatically in the area, most reports indicate that construction of new power plants has not been a high priority for regulators in the two Northwest states.

According to reports from the California ISO, an average of about 11,000 MW was scheduled to be off-line for most of December 2000. Of the 11,000 MW that were off-line during that month, 7,000 MW were offline for unplanned maintenance, including those plants taken down for expired air emission credits. For the year 2001, statewide in California, 16 units that could generate a combined 5,225 MW—more than 10% of the state’s power output—were scheduled to be shut down at some point during the year, mostly for the installation of selective catalytic reduction equipment that limits nitrogen oxide (NOx).

The utilities were not permitted to enter into forward long-term contracts for energy. The California PX, as a spot-market auction pool, reflected the fluctuating cost of electric power. As a result, the California IOUs were also subjected to the dramatic increase in the price of wholesale electric power, which would increasingly create a situation of enormous debts for all three utilities. 18 McNama Ch02(17-38) 2/26/02 4:06 PM Page 19 The Root Causes of the California Energy Crisis REASONS FOR THE ENERGY CRISIS There are many different explanations as to why the California energy crisis occurred.

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