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GSBGEN 336: Energy Markets and Policy

This is a course on how energy and environmental markets work, and the regulatorymechanisms that have been and can be used to achieve desired policy goals. The courseuses a electricity market game as a central teaching tool. In the game, students play the roleof electricity generators and retailers in order to gain an understanding of how market rules(including environmental regulations and renewable energy mandates) affect the businessstrategy of market participants¿and in turn economic and environmental outcomes.The goal of the course is to provide students with both theoretical and hands-onunderstanding of important energy and environmental market concepts that are critical tomarket functioning but not always widely appreciated. Concepts covered include: 1)regulated price-setting versus price-setting through market mechanisms, 2) BTU arbitragein input energy choices, 3) uniform price vs. pay-as-bid auctions, 4) the ability andincentive to exercise unilateral market power, 5) unilateral versus cooordinated exercise ofmarket power, 6) transmission congestion, 7) forward contracts and their effect on marketfunctioning, 8) dynamic pricing of electricity and active involvement of final demand, 9)the nature of energy reserves, 10) carbon pricing mechanisms including taxes and cap-andtradesystems, 11) renewable portfolio standards and other renewable energy incentives,12) determination of levelized cost of energy (LCOE) and its impact on new capacityinvestment decisions, and 13) interactions between environmental mechanisms andregulations. We will also discuss the key features of the markets for major sources ofenergy such as oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, solar, wind, and biomass.The course is useful background for private sector roles in energy production,research, management, trading, investment, and government and regulatory affairs;government positions in policymaking and regulation; research and policy functions inacademia, think tanks, or consultancies; and non-profit advocacy roles related to energy and the environment.
Units: 3 | Grading: GSB Student Option LTR/PF
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