|Date:||2/7/97 Record No.: 10426|
"Changing Structure of the Electric Power Industry: An Update", DOE Re...
a new report from the Energy Information Administration, provides a good summary of the issues at stake and a history of the electric power industry. Copies were provided to members of the DOE SEAB Task Force on Electric System Reliability.
It is available through the EIA at (202) 586-8800 (free to "energy producers", but not to consultants!) or on their web site (http:// www.eia.doe.gov). You can download the complete report (2.5 MB in pdf-Acrobat format), and a summary is available at:
Here are the first couple of paragraphs of that summary:
The Changing Structure of the Electric Power Industry: An Update
Electric utilities(1)--one of the largest remaining regulated industries in the United States--are in the process of transition to a competitive market. Traditionally vertically integrated,(2) the industry will in all probability be segmented at least functionally into its three component parts: generation, transmission, and distribution. The proposals and issues are being addressed in Federal and State legislation and are being debated in State regulatory hearings. (View a discription of utilities and nonutilities in the current market structure.)
Change is occurring through the issuance by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of Orders 888 and 889 (dated April 24, 1996) to encourage wholesale competition. Order 888 addresses the issues of open access to the transmission network and stranded costs. Order 889 requires utilities to establish electronic systems to share information about available transmission capacity. In addition, as of June 30, 1996, 44 States and the District of Columbia (more than 88 percent of the Nation's regulatory commissions) have started activities related to retail competition in one form or another.(3) Issues such as recovery of stranded costs, divestiture of transmission assets, increased mergers, renewable energy incentives, energy efficiency investments, reliability, and the timing of retail competition are critical due to the degree of importance electricity holds in this country's economic and social well-being. Legislative proposals on electric power restructuring have been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.