Update, Mar 2003

FERC have ruled that there was in fact illegal price-manipulation in the electricity market, and have levied over a billion dollars in fines.

El Paso have agreed to pay $1.7 billion over 20 years to settle charges about natural-gas market manipulation.

The totals add up to much less than California had been asking for, but are still significant (around $4 billion).

How about my predictions?

The jury is still out on this one.  I did not set a time frame; I meant to say "within a decade or so", so I have until 2011. Brief note, added Apr 2007: sure enough, prices climbed like crazy as soon as freezes expired.  New freezes were instituted in places like Maryland, where Baltimore prices were going to jump 72% but were limited instead to 15%; those are now set to expire soon and prices are set to jump another 50% or more.  [ref] There is still more smoke than flame in this area.  Again I will give it ten years to come true. This has already occurred, albeit not in great numbers.  The California PUC are still working on a ruling about `exit fees' and whether they should apply to solar PV systems.

All contents are copyright © 2003 Chris Torek