The mission of the Center for the Study of Energy Markets (CSEM ) (formerly known as POWER), is to foster top research on energy policy in order to promote better understanding of the functioning of energy markets and the impacts of deregulation in energy industries.  CSEM also seeks to develop strategies and tools that can be used by regulatory agencies and policy makers for the analysis of energy markets.  CSEM is a program of the University of California Energy Institute (UCEI) and also receives significant financial support from the California Energy Commission.

CSEM  has three major goals:


The issues being addressed currently by CSEM include:


CSEM holds its annual POWER Conference on Electricity Industry Restructuring in March at UC Berkeley.  The conference brings together top electricity industry researchers and practitioners to present and discuss new economic and policy research that is of direct relevance to that evolving industry.  CSEM hosts bi-weekly seminars where energy researchers present their work on a host of energy issues.  These seminars are held generally at UC Berkeley.  In addition, CSEM organizes an annual Policy Conference to bring CSEM research to policy makers and facilitate an interactive forum on the current hot policy topics.  The Policy Conference is held in Sacramento and is open to the public at no charge.  CSEM also offers a 2-day Executive Education course annually.  The executive education course is held in the Sacramento area and attracts participation from policy makers in California, other U.S. states and other countries. 

In addition, CSEM maintains a Working Paper Series on issues ranging from evaluating tradeable pollution rights to analyzing proposed wholesale electricity markets. The CSEM Working Paper Series is a continuation of the POWER Working Paper Series which began in 1992.  The CSEM series will make available working papers on energy-related research performed by researchers affiliated with CSEM.  The historical POWER working papers continue to be available. Three books on energy policy, covering the oil industry, electricity markets, and the regulatory process, also have been produced under the POWER program and continue to be available.

CSEM researchers also are often called upon to speak before government and policy organizations, including the California state legislature, various state public utility commissions, the California Energy Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Researchers in CSEM also serve on the governing boards of such non-profit institutions as the California Power Exchange and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.


Severin Borenstein is co-director of CSEM, an E.T. Grether Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, and Director of the University of California Energy Institute. Professor Borenstein holds a Ph.D. in economics from MIT. His research focuses on business competition and government regulation. He is the author of many articles on gasoline and oil markets and on competition in electricity markets. Professor Borenstein also has done extensive research on the airline industry. He has advised many state and federal agencies on energy and airline matters. He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

James Bushnell is co-director of CSEM, Research Director of the University of California Energy Institute, and a Lecturer at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Dr. Bushnell holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from UC Berkeley. His research focuses on many aspects of operations, regulation, and competition in the energy industries. He is the author of many articles covering such topics as auction design, transmission planning and investment,  market power, and energy demand. Dr. Bushnell serves on the Market Surveillance Committee of the California's Indepdendent System Operator and previously served on the Market Monitoring Committee of the California Power Exchange.


The CSEM Advisory Committee meets annually to evaluate and provide feedback on the past year's activities and plans for the coming year.  The current members are:

  Ben Arikawa California Independent System Operator
  Scott Cauchois Division of Ratepayer Advocates
  Mike Jaske Califiornia Energy Commission

Melissa Jones
California Energy Commission
  Lorenzo Kristov California Independent System Operator
  Laurie ten Hope Califiornia Energy Commission

Stephen St. Marie
California Public Utilities Commission
2547 Channing Way
  Berkeley, California 94720-5180
(510) 642-9590 fax (510) 643-5180


Updated January 2006