2nd Princeton Workshop on Price Risk and the Future of the Electric Markets

Bendheim Center for Finance and the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering
Oct 10, 2003, 8:30 am5:00 pm
113 - Friend Center
Event Description

In the last two years, the U.S. electric and natural gas markets have dramatically deteriorated.  A booming business at the cutting edge of innovation and financial research has disappeared, leaving an industrial sector struggling for survival and deserted by disgruntled investors. 

The initial efforts at electric deregulation in the United States have generally been viewed as a failure or, at best, inconclusive.  Deregulation was promoted as a direct route to lower, fairer and more understandable prices.  Instead, it is generally acknowledged that after deregulation, retail prices often went up, small consumers had less pricing leverage than larger consumers, and pricing structures and industry rules were incomprehensible other than to a small minority of market participants.  Finally, corruption, unprecedented price volatility, and service disruptions ensued after deregulation.  The state of California was the first state in the nation to enact electric power restructuring.  We know now that its original competitive market design did not work, and this failure continues to cast doubt over the status of electric power deregulation across the United States.  The initial drive towards deregulation has been reversed in many states which have cited the California debacle as the main reason for their decision to rethink their plans to open the electric power markets to competition.  The blackout of 2003 has created another dramatic reason for rethinking the theory and rationale for deregulation.  Despite the failure of the California experiment, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is still committed to opening electricity markets.  Indeed the FERC continues to push for new policies and new market designs. 

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together policy makers, regulators, business representatives, consumer advocates and academicians to address these issues in an independent setting. 

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