The Deadly Sin of State Regulators on the Smart Grid
By José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, Ph.D.
Systemic Consultant: Electricity
EWPC Systems’ Architect
First posted in the GMH Blog, on July 12, 2009.
Copyright © 2009 José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, without written permission from José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio. This article is an unedited, an uncorrected, draft material of The EWPC Textbook. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to contact the author for any kind of engagement.
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The great American educator Stanley O. Ikenberry, Ph.D., responded a question about the university future , using conventional political wisdom that can be applied very differently to the power industry future, when he said that:
No one can see clearly the outlines of the university future. Fortunately, we tend to make big strategic decisions incrementally. We take a small step in the direction of our vision, see what happens and then take another step, and another, taking the opportunity to correct the strategic course as we go along. I suspect that this will be this century’s formula for change as well.
That is exactly what has been happening so far in the evolution of the power industry to keep extending, through a powerful political lobby, the Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) Architecture Framework (IOUs-AF), in which the vision has not changed to what is actually emerging. Why should then Dr. Ikenberry’s reflection apply differently to the power industry?
The reason is given by Eberhardt Rechtin and Mark W. Maier : in the case of the university future, social system quality depend on “the public interest which are unavoidable diverse and often incompatible,” whereas in the case of a power system future, social system quality depends on the ultraquality imperative  that enables a vision of the future that is now crystal clear . Such imperative gives first priority to the purpose of maximum social welfare, ahead of the required market institutions .
Retained as a power industry expert with American taxpayer money, in 1996 I wrote a Spanish whitepaper, when I first propose the elements of a vision for the Dominican Republic that has emerged full blown as the global Electricity Without Price Controls (EWPC) Architecture Framework (EWPC-AF). At that time, I followed the suggestion of Odgers Olsen Jr., who was at the time with the prestigious consulting firm Ernst & Young, and had said something like this to guide me:
In the discussions that we had with people in the power industry some visions are clearly defined, others are quite clouded. For those that are clouded, some say: ‘let’s go forward and refine the vision as we go; we need to have certain flexibility.’ Others don’t understand that the vision itself is clouded. Those people will start, and restart, again and again, until they are behind in the
There should be not doubt that the vision selected, as the result of a very early architecting flaw, was the quite clouded vision of the Investor IOUs-AF . To definitely convince yourself of the need to shift to the EWPC-AF, please take a close look at a series of 5 comment posts with the headings “So Long IOUs-AF [3, 10],” that gives a conclusive proof that by incrementally extending the IOUs-AF under a quite cloudy vision, the U.S. has fallen well behind the global game, generating a huge and very costly IOUs-AF legacy. However, it is not too late to avoid wasting billions even more taxpayers’ moneys, if the Obama administration and the State regulators acts real fast to open the power industry to innovation by introducing the EWPC-AF to finally win the global sustainability game.
All EnergyBlogs.com references below have hyperlinks.
 Chris Dreibelbis, Gr8 Expectations, July 10, 2009.
 Martin Rosenberg, Holy Cow - Have You Checked Out D O E ???, July 10, 2009.
 Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, The Deadly Sin of State Regulators on the Smart Grid, July 5, 2009.
 Stanley O. Ikenberry, “New Deal, Big Deal: Higher Education in a Conceptual Era,” Twenty-first David Dodds Henry Lecture, November 2000, University of Illinois at Chicago.
 Eberhardt Rechtin and Mark W. Maier, The Art of System Architetcing, CRC Press Inc. 1997.
 Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, A Question to the State Secretary at the Santo Domingo Digital Town Hall, April 20, 2009.
 Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, Shared Vision: Consumer Driven Electricity System Reform, February 29, 2009.
 Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, Dialogue, Reliability/Ultraquality & What to do First?, April 27, 2008.
 Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, Leadership Answers What to do First, April 16, 2008.
 Jesse Berst, Why Control4 Is the Company to Beat in Home Energy Management (and Why Microsoft, Google, Intel, and Sony Are Lining Up to Do the Beating), July 6, 2009.