Lynne Kiesling and I have an article in the Fall 2017 Regulation magazine asserting “the need for electricity retail market reforms” (PDF). Our general theme is, as the subtitle puts it, “An innovative 21st century retail electric power market is within reach, but won’t emerge until we ditch 20th century regulations.” We begin: School budgets always seem tight, so … More The Need for Electricity Retail Market Reforms
Michael Giberson Eagle Point Solar, a for-profit solar power installer and operator, proposed to build a solar PV array on a Dubuque, Iowa municipal building under a long-term contract with the city. Under the contract, Eagle Point would own the solar array and sell power to the city in a “behind the meter” arrangement. The … More Is Iowa solar power ruling a camel’s nose into electric utility’s monopoly tent?
Michael Giberson Are monopoly municipal electric utilities supposed to be treated like piggy banks by city councils? For over 90 years Lubbock Texas has had two electric utilities serving the town – one regional state-regulated investor-owned utility (Xcel) and a municipal utility (LP&L). Both ran wires throughout the city and most customers could switch between the … More The city council puts Lubbock’s new municipal electric monopoly to use
Lynne Kiesling Matt Welch channels his inner Joseph Schumpeter (and his inner Lynne, while we’re at it …) in his post this morning about the evanescence of monopoly. The grit in Matt’s oyster is yesterday’s NYT oped from former Microsoft vice president Dick Brass bemoaning Microsoft’s lack of an innovation-facilitating corporate culture. As someone who … More Matt Welch on monopoly: Joseph Schumpeter, call your office!
Michael Giberson Vero Beach, Florida, could become a hothouse of dynamic competition in retail electric power, if only the city would follow the recommendations of economist Dom Armentano. According to the Vero Beach [Florida] Electric Utility, they aim to provide “reliable, cost competitive electrical energy and services to our customers in a manner that exceeds … More Vero Beach Florida could become a hothouse of dynamic competition in retail electric power
Michael Giberson There is by now a fairly established body of economic history work that challenges what might be called the mainstream view of the origins of state regulation of electric utilities and offers as an alternative a nakedly public choice view that state regulation was all about creation of monopoly rents. The mainstream view … More Origins of state electric utility regulation: Was it protection of quasi-rents not creation of monopoly rents?
Michael Giberson At the Streetwise Professor, Craig Pirrong writes that the periodic interruptions in natural gas flows from Russia across Ukraine present a “classic bilateral monopoly situation.” Bottom line–there are no saints involved in this episode. There is a classic bilateral monopoly situation. Each side is using its leverage to try to extract as much … More Russia and Ukraine natural gas disputes illustrate the bilateral monopoly problem