Title

Three essays on "making" electric power markets

Date of Completion

January 2000

Keywords

Economics, General|Economics, Commerce-Business|Energy

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Technological change over the past three decades has altered most of the basic conditions in the electric power industry. Because of technical progress, the dominant paradigm has shifted from the provision of electric power by regulated and vertically integrated local natural monopolies to competition and vertical separation. In the first essay I provide a historical context of the electric industry's power current deregulation debate. Then a dynamic model of induced institutional change is used to investigate how endogenous technological advancements have induced radical institutional change in the generation and transmission segments of the electric power industry. ^ Because the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ordered regulated utilities to provide open access to their transmission networks and to separate their generation and transmission functions, transmission networks have been used more intensively and in much different ways then in the past. The second essay tests experimentally the predictions of neoclassical theory for a radial electric power market under two alternative deregulated transmission institutions: financial transmission rights and physical transmission rights. Experimental evidence presented there demonstrates that an electric power market with physical transmission rights governing its transmission network generates more “right” market signals relative to a transmission network governed by financial transmission rights. ^ The move to a greater reliance on markets for electric power is an idea that has animated sweeping and dramatic changes in the traditional business of electric power. The third essay examines two of the most innovative and complex initiatives of making electric power markets in the United States: California and PJM. As those markets mature and others are made, they must revise their governance mechanisms to eliminate rules that create inefficiency and adopt rules that work efficiently elsewhere. I argue that restructured electric power markets in the United States we should consider adopting an integrated procurement approach for electric power and ancillary services, binding forward markets for those commodities, and a market for physical transmission rights. ^