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Does an area of power shortages and rolling blackouts sound like a third world nation Yes or it could be the golden state of California It is hard for many people to believe that this problem would exist anywhere in the powerful United States The overall problem of demand that is consistently greater than supply isnt going away anytime soon Electricity deregulation and the shutdown of some power plants for maintenance have also been blamed for the crisis There has been no significant power plant construction recently which is partially due to the attitude of wait and see because of California deregulation California approved a gradual deregulation of the electricity market in 1996 in an effort to lower prices for consumers through competition but so far it has led to higher prices California Gov Gray Davis claims suppliers in other states are gouging California and he has asked for help from Washington California made the big mistake of deregulating wholesale energy prices but not what the customer pays That left the state at the mercy of independent power generators Now the state is acting as a middleman to buy power for near-bankrupt utilities while the governor is trying to shield the public from the real cost When you have only a few big sellers instead of hundreds of small sellers you get monopoly pricing exploitation of the consumer and less electricity generated which adds another piece to the power puzzle To date 25 states and the District of Columbia have been moving toward utility deregulation But since the California disaster three of them are be ginning to have second thoughts about deregulation Alternative power production seems at first glance to be a great solution Wind power consists of about one percent of California power production and solar energy even less The main reason for the small percentages is due to inconsistent means of the production It is simple on a day with
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