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deregulation

Years of Dominos Fall in Texas

By Energy Rant No Comments
Last week when the Rant “went to press,” which is to say, when I wrote it Saturday, the arctic blast was merely a cold shot of weather like I have experienced dozens of times. I didn’t start seeing the chaos in the south until Monday. It was an avoidable tragedy caused by many things over many years. Some places lost water supply and wastewater treatment. A colleague sent me the first picture below from a friend in the Dallas area. Here in the Midwest, we might think that’s an innovative way to keep beer cold at a house party. In...
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Before and after wind and deregulation

Wind’s Dramatic Impact on Pricing – In Two Directions – Why?

By Energy Rant One Comment
This is the second in a two-post series on electricity prices as impacted by deregulation and renewable energy penetration. Last week we explored deregulation in Regulation v Deregulation in True Color. This week, we examine the effects of increasing shares of renewable energy (like wind) being added to the grid. Again, the source for all this information is the U.S. Energy Information Administration, so you can fact check away! To recap, we are examining four regional markets as follows: Regulated Midwest states of South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa Deregulated Midwest states of Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania Deregulated Texas Deregulated and...
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Regulation v Deregulation in True Color

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
Recent projects have led me to examine how deregulated electricity markets work. Since I am naturally curious, I wanted to investigate differences between electricity price performance of deregulated states versus those of regulated states. This week we examine the impacts of regulation/deregulation on pricing, and next week, we will look at the impacts that renewable energy has on pricing. Data used come from the Energy Information Administration[1]. Figures lie, liars figure, but Jeff merely presents all data available for you to decide, pound your chest, or cry. That is your prerogative. Often data which do not support a narrative is...
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Renewables Killed the Nuclear Star, And Other Price Oddities

By Energy Rant One Comment
In April of this year, I commented on the Center of the American Experiment’s report, Energy Policy in Minnesota: The High Cost of Failure. That post is here. As a wee lad, I liked Curious George, so let us dig in and see if we can tweeze the fibers that drive the cost of electricity. Wind and Electricity Prices American Experiment’s claim is that wind energy with near-zero marginal cost of production does not result in lower energy prices for consumers. In fact, they say it increases electricity prices. This is where I began. Data for this post come from...
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Regulating Deregulation and Wind’s Other Big Subsidy

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
Last week we examined the startup of deregulation, why a competitive market for electricity is difficult and early failures. This week, we look at the price impacts and some long-term implications of deregulation. It seemed to me that deregulation of the electricity market had been a disaster: bankruptcies, soaring prices, and most recently, stranded baseload assets. There was a lot of evidence in that, but lately, prices have improved, but other challenges are emerging. Deregulation’s Impact on Pricing I realized that searching for comprehensive data showing the impact on electricity costs for regulated versus deregulated is impossible. Lucky for you,...
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Deregulation – The Hindenburg and Deregulation

By Energy Rant One Comment
The Rant: to boldly go where no man has gone before. Watch what you wish for. You might get it. Now that I’ve ripped off a line from a TV and movie series I’ve never watched and plopped down a cliché, it’s time to answer where I’m coming from. Politics on the day before Election Day. Associated government policy. The play I’ve seen in multiple forms, like a 1970s cop show where Charlie’s Angels, Starsky and Hutch, Cannon, Barnaby Jones , CHiPs, et al, always get their guy in the end of every episode. The opposite happens to corporations as...
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deregulation

Betting with Deregulation – A Risky Proposition

By Energy Rant No Comments
Energy is a commodity, and like all commodities, it is wise to hedge risk; not go the other way and place bets. Unless you are a certain presidential candidate with privileged information on cattle futures, I would stay away from betting, er investing in, commodities in general, and energy specifically. To digress for a moment, recall when gasoline cost $4 per gallon, there were all kinds of calls to investigate price gouging and rigging the market. Bill O’Reilly would ignorantly rant about the “speculators”. I said then, in 2008 just before this blog was born, that was poppycock. Senators Chucky...
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Adrift

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Utility Stuff 2 Comments
Being a critic and a manager, I always love it when somebody else does my work for me and I can lay low, because I often feel like a grumpy old man.  For example, some of my guys are tougher and harsher than I am on issues, people, and their work both inside and outside the company. On a related note, there is a big difference between whining and complaining.  I use a more vivid term for the latter, and I’ll leave it to the reader to guess what that is.  How does one define the difference?  The difference is...
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