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The Penn State Electricity Markets Initiative (EMI) held its first conference on April 12, 2011 at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission in Harrisburg. The conference, with over 80 attendees, included presentations of ongoing studies by EMI researchers as well as presentations by industry consultants and talks about the current issues affecting restructured electricity markets from industry and government representatives.
Robert F. Powelson, who serves as the chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), gave the keynote address and Pennsylvania House Representative Chris Ross opened the program with a view from the legislature.
The program was organized into three sessions: competitive markets, renewable mandates and environmental issues, and demand response. Presenters included Professors R.J. Briggs, Seth Blumsack, and Anastasia Shcherbakova of Penn State, Joseph Cullen of Harvard University, Jessica Harrison of KEMA, Inc, Phillip O’Connor of ProACTIVE Strategies, Sanem Sergici of the Brattle Group, Steve Elsea of Leggett and Platt, and Jeff Bladen of the Mark Group.
In the first session conference presenters focused on electricity restructuring and why the retail market for power has been slow to develop in Pennsylvania, the effect of competition in the electricity retail market nationally, and how competition in the retail market fosters innovation.
In the second session, presenters examined the benefits of wind power, the variability of wind in the PJM regional market, and how electricity restructuring and competition effect emissions and other environmental outcomes.
Presenters in the final session discussed the customer response to dynamic pricing, customer perspective of demand response in the electricity market, and the role of energy efficiency in the regional market, including changes to energy efficiency rules and incentives.
The EMI, under the direction of Andrew Kleit, professor of Energy and Environmental Economics at Penn State and located in the EMS Energy Institute, was formed to undertake industry-relevant research that examines important policy questions in electricity restructuring and electricity markets throughout Pennsylvania and across the United States. The EMI engages industry and regulatory partners in research studies designed to influence the ongoing debate about how the U.S. electricity market should address these challenges.
The EMI is funded by a consortium of electricity market participants, and includes regulators and consumer representatives on its advisory board. Current EMI members include Constellation Energy, Direct Energy, Exelon Corporation, FirstEnergy Solutions, GenOn Energy, and PPL EnergyPlus. The Initiative, which was formed at Penn State, began in January 2010.