Picking up the Pieces after California - Current Issues on the Rocky Road to Deregulation of the Electric Utility Industry in the USA

ERGO hosted a half-day seminar on 5 March 2004 presented by Professor Tim Mount of Cornell on the present status of electricity restructuring in the United States.

This workshop provided a briefing on the major blackout in Northeast America in August 2003 and the continuing saga of electricity industry restructuring in California. It also discussed current research at Cornell University into remedies for the problems that have occurred. The workshop was structured as two seminars.


The first seminar discussed the major blackout in Northeast America, the Californian “meltdown” and the regulatory reactions to it. 


The second seminar discussed research remedies for these problems under the headings of:

§              Living with price spikes

§              Paying for ancillary services and

§              Incentives for new investment.


Professor Tim Mount holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and has been a faculty member at Cornell University in New York State, USA since 1969. He is a former Director of the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER) and is currently a Professor of Applied Economics and Management. His research and teaching interests include econometric modelling and policy analysis relating to the use of fuels and electricity, and to their environmental consequences. He is a member of the Power System Engineering Research Center (PSERC) and is conducting research with engineers and economists at Cornell University on the performance of deregulated markets for electricity.  His current research projects include designing electricity markets to compensate the suppliers of ancillary services, identifying the causes of the market collapse in California, and providing incentives for investment in new generation and transmission capacity.