Capacity Market Criticism: A Texas Electricity Link Dump 12/3/13

Posted on Posted in PUC/ERCOT, Texas Electricity, Texas Electricity News

There’s been so much in the way of Texas electricity news the past few weeks that it’s difficult to summarize and document it all in a single post. Additionally, there is so much overlap that it doesn’t make much sense for me to write a blog post on each individual article. So instead I’m going to provide a list of some of the best articles I’ve come across recently, along with a summary or thought about why I think the article is a worthwhile read. Lets begin:

Lawmakers Spar Over Market Redesign – This Dallas Morning News article discusses the recent turmoil between the PUC and the Texas legislature. The short of it is that the PUC seems gearing up to back a capacity market, and several key Texas congressmen are questioning whether the PUC has the legal mandate/power to force such a change on Texans.

The 4 Billion Dollar Electric Bill – This article expounds on how a capacity market would usher in an additional 4 billion dollars in money paid by consumers each year. That money generally is an incentive for plants to build more capacity.

Texas Electricity Demands Slowing – Key to the push for the capacity market is the fallacy that Texas’s electricity needs are increasing. In fact, by all accounts, the demand for electricity is growing much slower than expected. The PUC is also looking at implementing a “mandatory reserve” amount that would further the agenda for those pursuing a capacity market. This article discusses all of that, as well as how we have measured electricity demand has changed.

Rants Against Socialized Electricity – Rep. Troy Fraser likened the ushering in of a capacity market to “corporate welfare” and “socializing” the electricity market. But not only that, Paul Ring chimed in with further analysis and breakdown. It’s actually a funny read if it wasn’t so potentially depressing.

Businesses Oppose a Capacity Market – Of course, large companies such as Valero and Wal-Mart (Texas’s biggest single employer) are convinced that a capacity market would be a huge blow to their companies. And considering how Texas has framed themselves as business friendly, one has to wonder how a capacity market would effect businesses currently in Texas, as well as ones considering relocating to Texas. Paul Ring expounds on that by pointing out that no state sporting a capacity market nears the top in any lists of business friendly states.

Paul Ring Exposes Fiction of a Unique Texas Capacity Market – And if anyone was questioning what Paul Ring thinks of a capacity market before now, this article should set them straight once and for all. The story is a breakdown about how the idea of a capacity market that would be “unique to Texas” is a farce and can’t be achieved.

So there is your rundown of the recent happenings in the Texas electricity as it pertains to a capacity market. Hopefully it was a helpful primer.

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