~e; fwd: Energy Without Borders (9/5/2001)
brian carroll <email@example.com>
Thu, 6 Sep 2001 22:25:33 -0800
here is some industry-speak about the marketing of energy as,
i assume, a commodity for exchanging/trading free market-like.
it seems this was mentioned before by Bruce Sterling i think
it was, where energy _is_ money, at least in a conceptual sense.
to me this could be literal, too, when the electron (or photon),
charged as they are, are in some way a combination of
matter, energy, and information all at once, simulataneously.
it is an abstract concept, i do not quite get it, if it is
accurate, but for some reason, when the sign/al is the thing
in itself that it describes, the 1:1 event, be it with money
(electromagnetic), broadband communications (electromagnetic)
and human consciousness (electromagnetic), with a puff of the
smoke of atmospheric nature in there (ben franklin's EM storm)
things get quite interesting in the wholistic sense, that
there may be some order in this chaotic r-evolution, based
both in technology, via understanding and harnessing nature,
and also in an understanding of the self based on these same
principles (gene mapping, cognitive science, physiology)...
my wonder is what it means, if it means, if it can mean
anything given the current worldview that has all of these
events as discrete, seperate, non-connected, separated by
disciplines, by professions, by areas of study. and the
overriding paradigm of the (scientific) subject being
that of electromagnetism as a technical, mathematical
enigma (the mystery that it is. i talked with someone
about electronics, said i researched EM. they said:
have you figured out what it is? with a laugh. under-
stood.) the missing piece seems to be a balanced under-
standing of electromagnetism, where knowledge replaces
ignorance, and the discrete events, such as, for example,
electronic art, internet art, video art, electronic sculpture,
computing history, mass media, rock&roll (electrified as it
is), the toaster oven and the electrical eel all relate
to the same story. lunacy, surely. but, only from the
viewpoint of a specialist in one area. as anyone can
trump anyone else on any specific subject, given the
opportunity to do so, truth or not.
it seems that a generalist or 'wholistic' approach better
serves the diversity of electromagnetism, and its influence
upon our daily lives, and our epoch, backwards, big bangish.
fast forwarding to a future broadbanded internetwork, etc.
energy as money as time as information as power as matter.
the change that seems to need to occur, though, is a twist
of the traditional either-or logic which is flawed in the
age of quantum paradox. what if, instead of organizing
ideas, such as the study of EM, inside a traditional
institution, such as art, or architecture, or engineering,
or astrophysics or infotech, where it is the part and the
medium is the container, that instead, electromagnetism
became the organizing factor around which disciplines
focussed their studies, taking the multidisciplinary
and-or interdisciplinary approach to education (trapped
in an expert-subjectivity: BA in archaeology. MA in
computer science. PhD in Culinary Arts) that, possibly
a modular approach could bring a type of fullness to
understanding of broad phenomenon, such as EM, by
breaking traditional disciplines into pods or modules,
like object oriented programming (from what i think
i've understood about its concepts), and putting these
chunks of researchers from different sectors onto an
educational research issue to get a wide and deep look
at it from many angles. this seems to be missing in
the present-day understanding of EM. it is relegated
to expert knowledge somewhere between E-engineering,
computer science, physics, and mathematics. the whole
cultural dimension is unaccounted from, in the sense
of bringing together the parts, showing a balanced
whole. there was a history, besides Henry James whom
i think believed that energy was a way to understand
the evolution of the human story, differnt types, and
their projections, ebbs and flows, as organizing factors.
it seems to me that if a study of EM could be introduced
as its own research area, and a team of many from many
disciplines looked at various basic R&D issues, such
as the role of EM in economics and ultimately the use
of energy as cash in e-cards and e-commerce. or, the
use of EM in medical science. in religious beliefs.
in popular culture. in the arts, painting (Hopper
for example and the e-light at night. or Dan Flavin
sculptures, etc etc). architecture. writing (the
word processor and its precursors)... bringing to-
gether computers, science, archaeology (industrial
archaeology or even EM archaeology using digital
archives and data mining and data-sets and issues
of long term storage of info to be shared by future
researchers)... if some of this 'knowledge' of the
systems all share in certain ways, most all digital-
ized day by day, that something may be under all of
this electromagnetic earthwork, which may provide
some coherency to the chaos. some planning to the
change. some logic to the rhetoric. some vision
to the future. some shared understanding by which
to communicate. my hope is that some day there will
be 'electromagnetic studies' or something such, in
traditional institutions, where the old rules can
stay and work where they do indeed work best for
certain things, but let others whom fold in an-
other way, explore this, and try to bring them
together, into balance, instead of opposition
and refutation of the import of electromagnetism
in the cultural, and human, sphere of meaning.
thus, the event below, while presented as a purely
market transaction, a technical development of
large technological systems, does have an inherent
social dimension which goes unaccounted for in its
market projections, which are purely economic based.
what is the human cost of this type of technologically-
predetermination of our shared future, i wonder. not
necessarily by default bad or wrong, but by experience,
not in any sense controlled in a way that benefits in
a predictable way. instead, it is like a wild horse and
trying to tame it. i would much rather have a human
wilderness, where we are free to be ourselves, and
tame the electromagnetic zeitgesit and put it in a
bottle and talk about it a bit without feeling like
a heretic, than having the electromagnetic be the
only wilderness, and the human dimension becoming
entirely cultivated, where, because we cannot control
the technology, the electromagnetic realms, we instead
have to control ourselves to have predictable outcomes.
it could be different if things opened up, if the
questions were realized for their importance in the
larger sphere of things, non-expertise, but in the
realm of general knowledge of EM, common sense,
being able to talk about it, however basic, in
its larger sense. such as energy as money. whatnot.
just some thoughts.
>This e-mail has been sent from the
><http://www.eyeforenergy.com>http://www.eyeforenergy.com website by
>Energy Without Borders (9/5/2001)
>The web revolution is in full swing and it has hit the energy sector
>full force. Despite an economic slowdown in the United States and
>other areas of the globe, energy companies continue to flock
>headfirst to the Internet. Recently Forrester Research published a
>well-read report, "Net Energy Hits Hypergrowth", that predicts
>online energy trading will exceed $3.5 trillion by 2005. While the
>online energy trading world is dominated by the likes of
><http://www.enrononline.com/>EnronOnline, with a reported average
>daily trading volume of $3.5 billion,
>(<http://www.intercontinentalexchange.com/>ICE) and others are
>ramping up volume and increasing liquidity for the entire market.
>In the next three years, e-Business is expected to accelerate market
>restructuring, redefine business processes, drive down supply chain
>costs, and provide catalyst for customer-centric focus. Already,
>several models facilitate e-Business: e-procurement portals and
>exchanges, transaction exchanges, on-line energy exchanges and
>auctions, and customer portals.
>Recognizing that watts know no borders, they flow equally well in
>the United States as they do in Canada, or the rest of the world,
>Eyeforenergy recently had an opportunity to visit with Sheldon
>Fulton, president of the <http://www.watt-ex.com/>Alberta Watt
>Exchange, an online trading system for electrical energy in the
>Alberta, Canada region.
>We were particularly interested in Sheldon's comments on
>cross-border electricity trading and his views on the different
>approaches the United States, Canada and Europe take to the
>Eyeforenergy: Sheldon, could you bring us up to date on the Alberta
>Watt Exchange (Watt-Ex).
>Sheldon Fulton: "The Alberta Watt Exchange (Watt-Ex) is an on-line
>trading system for electrical energy. It allows market participants
>to buy or sell contracts for firm forward commitments in the real
>time or spot electricity market as well as providing for the trade
>of Ancillary Services. The Alberta consumptive market for
>electricity is approximately 50,000,000 Mega-Watt Hours (MWh) of
>generation per year with a market value of nearly $3 billion."
>Eyeforenergy: How does deregulation fit into all this?
>Fulton: "Alberta's new electricity industry structure due to the
>second phase of de-regulation implemented on January 1,2001 makes
>important changes to the traditional environment with the generation
>component and some retail services that can be competitively
>provided have been deregulated.
>"In place of a few large regulated companies providing generation in
>the province, the new structure introduced competition into the
>market through an Auction of long-term (20-year) energy rights. The
>result is that independent power producers and importers can compete
>with existing utility generators. The existing infrastructure of
>transmission wires and distribution wires remains regulated."
>Eyeforenergy: What effect, if any, has this had on electricity prices?
>Fulton: "As a result of the deregulation, an increasing portion of
>the market is exposed to actual electricity prices including the
>high hourly price volatility. All electricity is currently
>transacted in the spot market through the Power Pool of Alberta
>utilizing hourly offers to establish a dispatch merit order and an
>hourly SMP (marginal price used to clear the entire hourly market).
>The current lack of effective forward pricing instruments limits the
>forward planning ability of the generators and the users and creates
>substantial financial uncertainty. Watt-Ex introduced a set of
>marketing instruments to manage price risk, reduce the financial
>uncertainty, and bring greater economic performance into the
>Eyeforenergy: Where exactly does Watt-Ex fit in--what services do
>you bring to the table?
>Fulton: "Watt-Ex is a true commodity exchange in that, in addition
>to facilitating the electronic contract transaction, it also
>performs all the clearing functions. Simply put, the clearing
>functions are those things that assure performance by the parties to
>the contracts. These include providing the financial assurance that
>all parties to the contract are capable of performing their
>obligations as well as tracking and monitoring the physical
>performance after trade. These mechanisms include an innovative
>credit insurance backstop and use of surety bonds to provide a
>severable credit risk environment for transactions.
>"In July Watt-Ex introduced trading of Regulating, Spinning, and
>Supplement Reserves to complement the full suite of energy contracts
>that extend from Day-Ahead to one-year term blocks out to 2004. All
>contracts are performed through physical dispatch or by off-set."
>Eyeforenergy: How have you been received in the market; what has
>been your growth pattern?
>Fulton: "Growth in trading in the Alberta market has been quite
>substantial in the past two months for Watt-Ex since the
>introduction of the Ancillary Services market going from less than
>1,000 MW per day in the initial six months of 2001 to 10,000 MW per
>day in July and 25,000 MWs per day in August. We expect to exceed
>30,000 MWs per day by year end and double those levels by the end of
>"The Alberta Watt-Exchange has also worked with the Chelan County
>PUD to launch a set of physical contracts for delivery at the
>Mid-Columbia (Mid-C) Hub. Dialogue with potential market users in
>the Pacific Northwest has lead to the development of contracts that
>include provisions for Alternative Delivery Points and separate
>trade of Ancillary Services, both unique services for electricity
>trading. Filings have been made with the regulatory agencies in both
>Canada and the US and trade is targeted for Q4 of 2001.
>"The PNW market is approximately 200TWhs per year or some four times
>the Alberta market. In addition, we are keeping a careful eye on the
>Ontario market - with anticipated de-regulation scheduled for early
>2002. Expectations are that we would provide a set of forward
>contracts for the Ontario market at or near its inception."
>Eyeforenergy: What are the possibilities of full-scale cross border
>trading between the US and Canada?
>Fulton: "The potential for full-cross bordering trading between the
>Canada and the US is similar to that of other energy products such
>as oil and natural gas. Canada is a net exporter of electricity to
>the US - exporting some 40 to 50 TWhs per year and importing 5 to 12
>TWhs per year. Total two-way movement in 2000 was over 60TWh
>compared to 25 TWhs in 1991. Much of this volume is now being
>transacted as either long-term supply contracts to regulated markets
>or very short-term hourly contracts into the de-regulated markets."
>Eyeforenergy: What obstacles exists that might impede this eventuality?
>"The obstacles to greater cross-border activity are two-fold - lack
>of transmission capacity and the staggered rate of de-regulation
>across North America. In Canada most of the excess supply for export
>comes from the Hydro-based generation sector, most of which is
>within provinces that have not de-regulated (Ontario is the closest
>with expected de-regulation in Q1, 2002). The provinces that have
>de-regulated - such as Alberta - are primarily coal-based but have
>limited direct export ties. The presence of export transmission
>capacity is an historic artifact of the regulated electricity era
>when large hydro development projects in Canada were financed by
>long-term supply contracts to US markets that carried with them the
>transmission capacity to these markets.
>"Emerging merchant markets like Alberta are constrained in their
>ability to reach US markets through the absence of transmission
>capacity into the major emerging US grids. In Alberta three coal
>projects have been announced that would add 1700 to 2000 MW of
>generating capacity, which may lead to development of a transmission
>capability direct to Montana, rather than through BC, which remains
>a regulated regime."
>Eyeforenergy: How could systems like Watt-Ex aid the development of
>Fulton: "The ability for Canada to convert fossil fuels to
>electricity, to tap into undeveloped hydro opportunities and to
>develop green energy including wind, small hydro, and biomass all
>remain as potential growth areas for cross-border trade. The advent
>of physical trading systems such as Watt-Ex which provide for
>delivery into the Pacific Northwest as well as Alberta - coupled
>with the ability to add certainty to the transactions with Ancillary
>Services and credit backstops will increase the activity and the
>inter-market arbitrage opportunities."
>Eyeforenergy: In general what differences is there between the way
>the US approaches power trading and the Canadian approach?
>Fulton: "There are few differences between the US and Canada in
>terms of the emergence of power trading over the past five years,
>other than Canada appears to be typically more cautious.
>Jurisdictions are looking to de-regulation but the progress is
>slower than in the US and this means that the regulated utilities,
>or their power trading arms are still the major players in the
>market on the supply side. Companies such as Powerex (BC Hydro),
>SaskPower, Manitoba Hydro - Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Quebec
>Hydro, and New Brunswick Power all had or still have major ties with
>the provincial governments and as such remain subject to political
>as well as market influences.
>"The result is that power trading - at least screen-based exchange
>trading follows the same progression as de-regulation - a slow
>market evolution. With increased market access in the US, the
>potential to transact the intermediate range of products - from day
>ahead to monthly and term blocks with these provincial utilities is
>Eyeforenergy: How does the North American market differ from that of
>Europe? What do you see as the major differences in how they
>Fulton: "The North American market does differ from the European
>market in the means of de-regulation. The US tries less to
>pre-ordain or orchestrate the outcome - while Europe is more
>cautious and more concerned with potential market abuses. Canada is
>somewhere in between - cautious but willing to let the market
>substitute for regulation. Unfortunately the problems from 2000 in
>California have caused considerable re-thinking of the cavalier
>approach to opening up electricity markets to unbridled competition.
>The result is a lot of jurisdictions are borrowing from some of the
>successes in Europe with respect to stimulating open markets through
>transparent exchanges and control of potential abuses of market
>"The evolution of electronic markets in the UK, Germany, and the
>long running success of NordPool are increasingly becoming models
>for North America rather than the OTC and broker markets that were
>popularized by the natural gas markets. The physical characteristic
>differences of electricity to gas, the enhanced price volatility of
>the electricity markets and the concerns for market power abuse all
>suggest that structured, open, and secure exchanges may be the
>evolutionary path for electricity trading in North America."
>Deregulation is sweeping through the world’s power markets and
>bringing about major changes in the way we think about one of our
>most valuable resources. The U.S. electric industry is undergoing a
>sea change in the way it delivers electricity to millions of
>households. What is probably the last great government sanctioned
>monopoly is slowly becoming deregulated and open to competition,
>giving consumers the power to choose their electricity provider.
>So far efforts to deregulate the market in the United States has
>produced a patchwork quilt, with power flowing to some areas in
>abundance and barely trickling to others. Some areas are seeing a
>drop in prices and others are experiencing price spikes.
>When policymakers embark upon restructuring a heavily regulated
>industry, as opposed to deregulating it, they risk creating more
>regulation than existed before. This is the dilemma of popular
>proposals to reform the electric industry today.
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brian thomas carroll the_electromagnetic_internetwork
electromagnetic researcher matter, energy, and in-formation
electromagnetism / infrastructure / civilization