Rev Ind Organ (2008) 32:163–164 DOI 10.1007/s11151-008-9169-9 Introduction to the Symposium on Restructuring in the U.S. Electricity Industry Diana L. Moss Published online: 19 July 2008 © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2008 The last decade has been a turbulent one for the U.S. electricity industry. The effects of major restructuring initiatives have been felt since the mid-1990s. After only a decade, however, enough experience has accumulated to begin to assess the success of restructuring reforms. Restructuring has centered on improving access to transmis- sion: the primary bottleneck in a vertically integrated industry structure. Considered an essential facility since the seminal Supreme Court Otter Tail case over 30 years ago, transmission has been forced open through mandatory access, the formation of Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs), and standardized generator intercon- nection policies. Ideally, the fruits of access and better management of transmission congestion and planning are entry and competition at the generation level. This ultimately allows for lighter-handed regulation of wholesale power prices – on the assumption that markets are sufﬁciently competitive to justify it. But regulatory initiatives have also created incentives for horizontal and vertical consolidation, and a wave of merger activity has fundamentally changed the structure of regional electricity
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 19, 2008
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