viernes, octubre 06, 2006

A Challenge to the Best and Brightest

Following the great interest of the new USAID Director, Richard Goughnour, today I spent the whole working day on the Dominican American Institute, on an event which is raising high hopes for the development of the country. The event was "Primera Conferencia Anual de Ex-Becarios." I am very happy to report that many frogs (as Carlos Yunén calls them) decided to jump on the development wagon of the Dominican Republic. But, will they really jump?

As DR-CAFTA become effective and tariff become zero, businesses effective protection will desapear to the benefit of customers in the country. However, unless the power system protection is also lifted (not included as electricity is not exported directly), businesses will have a hard time to compete. As usual, power companies will be tempted to lobby the USAID Director to keep their protection as is. Electricity Without Price Controls will lift the inherent protection of the price control system and introduce competition and innovations to the power industry.

I told them of the work I have been developing, and many of them became very interested. The latest update on an introduction to the project is under the article Divorcing Electricity Sales from Profits Creates Win-Win for Utilities and Customers. Please read the message at the top of the page to learn what the GMH intentions are.

I also suggested that we need to develop critical mass of systemic thinkers to bridge Eamonn Kelly suggestion in the book Powerfull Times, as can be seen in the post La Verdad Sobre el Secuestro del Desarrollo. To further understand the need for systemic thinkers, please read the post Una Salida Apolítica a la Gran Depresión Eléctrica.

The Challenge to the best and brightest is to help me organize, fund and develop, an effort to transform the electricity sector of the country, to reap the benefit of the innovations available. I invite them to browse the site and find by themselves if they up to the challenge. Once they do that, they should sent an email to with a plan of how he or she may collaborate and contribute on the effort.

After a review of all messages sent by October 31st, I will interview at the most 10 to 12 candidates to select a virtuous team of the 5 or 6 best and brightest consultant collaborators (willing also to become systemic thinkers, unless they already are). I will perform as the system architect. The team is based on the post Constituyamos Equipos Virtuosos para Enfrentar Retos Parte 2. The challenge is not limited to Ex-Becarios, but is wide open to any resident of, or on, the country.

On the End-State of the Power Industry Part 5

Hello Steve,

1) Thank you for your explanations after a busy schedule. I hope the attendees at your meeting were told by you to take a look at your paper, even though it has a lot of theorizing added. If you didn’t, I hope they will have a chance to read this. My comments, however, do not have any etherizing. I hope I am not being as rude with you in the following comments. I also hope not to bore you either. This is not a fight, but an attempt to shed some light, which I hope may come from your side or of any of the other readers.

2) I have my feet very well placed in the ground. This is a glimpse of my story. I have been in the power industry since 1965, when I got a scholarship to go to Cornell. I worked on every corner of the industry with a PhD (in Information Theory - where I developed my probabilistic mindset) since 1972. I was head of planning of a 3rd world country, where I worked hard to do high tech simulations of a least cost probabilistic expansion plan, to guarantee commercial service to customers. Politicians didn't follow the advised, as they always know better. I proposed a vision in 1996 to deregulate the way that is now become EWPC, based on the research at MIT by the group led by Professor Schweppe, as is discussed here and elsewhere on the EnergyPulse website. When our country deregulated the power sector in 1999, without following my advise (designed in accordance with our reality - which is now becoming the End-State of the Power Industry), I became a member of the board of the Coordinating Body (operations planning and market transactions), representing IPPs. It has been a real mess here, as 2 of the 3 Discos went broke and were repurchased by the government in 2003. That is when I decided to become an Interdependent (Systemic) Consultant on Electricity. Actually I have work hard to transformed myself into a system architect in the last 15 years or so.

3) Even though you may think you are not theorizing, I am sorry to tell you that you are just one of many theorists going to many meeting. The old name calling of theorist is not longer effective on the new world. I won't tell you where I found the quote that says: "...every time managers take an action, and every time they look into the future, they use a theory to guide their plans and actions - because a theory is a statement of what causes what, and why." I am very sure that the theory you are proposing with your article is not sound, but politicians love that. They love symptomatic solutions.
Unless I see a discussion on the practical-theory of EWPC I won’t interfere with your closure.

Best regards,

© 2006. José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, Ph.D.