New Book Points to Brighter Future for Electricity Customers: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
January 29, 2007

New Book Points to Brighter Future for Electricity Customers

“. . . a must-read for policy makers and academics alike, as well as anyone interested in real energy solutions.”
Pablo T. Spiller, Professor of Business, University of California, Berkeley

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 29, 2007—In the decade-long effort to overhaul the nation’s electricity system, there have been successes and failures. While California’s restructuring led to blackouts and sharply higher prices, Pennsylvania’s restructuring produced a reliable supply of electricity at relatively low and stable prices. These results have left policymakers and the public with a host of questions about efforts to restructure and deregulate the electricity industry.

“A combination of poor institutional design, adverse economic factors, and political actors taking predictable courses caused the electricity market to collapse in California,” says economist Andrew N. Kleit, editor of the new Independent Institute book, Electric Choices: Deregulation and the Future of Electric Power (2007 / Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. in cooperation with the Independent Institute / $29.95 / $80.00), with a foreword by Pat Wood III, Former Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “The U.S. currently has an electricity market that, at the retail level, is half regulated and half deregulated,” points out Kleit, Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at Pennsylvania State University. “States such as Pennsylvania, New York, and Texas have engaged in electricity restructuring. Meanwhile other states, such as Florida and Minnesota, appear to have no desire to move in this direction.”

What lessons can be learned about the successes and failures of past restructurings? In Electric Choices, 15 of the nation’s leading energy analysts and scholars examine the issues and challenges in restructuring electricity markets. They consider the benefits of a well–designed restructuring program: lower prices, increased consumer choices, and reliable supplies; as well as the challenges: electricity is not storable, is currently transmitted through a natural monopoly distribution system, and there is resistance to real–time pricing.

“Electricity markets are extremely complicated,” says Kleit. “Electricity restructuring requires careful policy choices.” Electric Choices offers the solutions that will make electricity cheaper and more reliable—restructuring with greater attention to incentives, consumer preferences, and system–wide flexibility.

Praise for Electric Choices

"Electric Choices should be mandatory reading for anyone interested in the electricity industry, and who wants to learn from the mistakes California made."
G. Mitchell Wilk, former president, California Public Utilities Commission

"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."
Ahmad Faruqui, Principal, The Brattle Group

"Electric Choices brings together superb analyses of the current state of play by some of the most important contributors to the on-going restructuring debate in the United States. The book provides a readable and stimulating assessment of what has worked, and what hasn't worked, in restructuring thus far."
Paul R. Kleindorfer, Anheuser Busch Professor of Management Science Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania; Distinguished Research Professor, INSEAD

Electric Choices: Deregulation and the Future of Electric Power
Edited by Andrew N. Kleit
Foreword by Pat Wood III
Published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. in cooperation with the Independent Institute
2007 | Softcover / Hardcover | 288 pages | $29.95 / $80.00 | ISBN 0-7425-4875-7 / 0-7425-4875-9

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