Welcome back. We're going to change the topic right now. We've been talking about the grid and the system grid integration. We've been talking largely about technologies and approaches and operations, what's technology? Now, we're switching to institutions, markets, stakeholders. What are the organizations evolving in electricity? Particularly, renewable electricity. How do the markets work? How is renewable electricity bought and sold? Who participates? Who is involved with all those decisions and all those processes? Because it's critical to understand who's involved, what organizations are involved, what roles they play. This is mentally a challenging topic. It's a very confusing system. It really is. It's a confusing mix of public-sector actors (state, government), public sector; what the government does, and private sector organizations; private companies, investors, private capital. The structure of the industry, who's involved, and who does what varies by country. It changes over time and it can even vary significantly within a country. For example, the US, which we'll talk about has many, many different electricity industry structures. It's just admittedly very confusing. But a key variable, a way to understand it is the role of competition. Sometimes the language is market versus state. Where market means private-sector competition, they have minimal government role, and state means government control, public sector makes decisions. The structure of the electricity industry very significantly, but one way to understand it is a continuum, where one end could be left or right, I guess I'd lean towards left, it's entirely state-owned. You can imagine electricity system in a country where the national government runs the generating plants, owns the transmission lines, owns the distribution system, and charges consumers for what they sell, but it's entirely provided by the government. That's one extreme example. At the other extreme, would be a purely competitive system where different private companies have privately-owned power plants and somehow bid or sell the electricity. Where the transmission system could be privately owned, though there's very few examples of that, where the distribution system could even be competitive, and where different competitive providers compete in a market setting to provide electricity. Those two extremes don't quite exist at their purest element, but there are countries that look pretty much like the state-owned and look pretty much like the competitive-owned. Most other countries and regions are somewhere in that continuum between those two extreme points. Again, that changes all the time. It varies by country, varies within a country and it changes over time. It's a confusing mix. There's a new type of organization called an ISO or an RTO, or sometimes called the TSO, which we'll talk about, it's slightly different, but they are emerging as an important player. We'll talk about those. It's really important to understand who does what. If you want to be active in this industry, regardless of what role you want to play, you're going to have to figure out who does what. It's not exactly intuitive. Here's how we'll talk about this industry. Here's how we'll organize our discussion in this module of the course. We'll start with principles, concepts, theory, basic ideas that are very helpful in understanding how this industry works. Then we'll dive into case studies. We'll look at specific countries or regions and say, "How does it work there?" Although those countries may not be of interest to you, they'll provide examples that illustrate how it works in the different variations in electricity industries. Then we'll focus on the ISOs, also called RTOs and something called TSOs, which you may never heard of or you may have and you may be unclear exactly what they do. We'll clarify what they are because they are emerging as key players in several countries. Then finally, we'll have interviews with experts, and they'll talk about the industry from their perspectives. For example, if you have someone active in a specific niche of the industry, for example, solar photovoltaics, who did they have to interact with? Who does what, and how does it work from their perspective? A few things to keep in mind before we get into the meat of how this industry works is, part of the confusion may stem from expecting it to be rational, meaning logical, or make some sense. It really doesn't. The reason for that is it evolved historically. Things have changed over time. Consumer and political preferences have changed. Technologies are evolving very rapidly as we talked about in this course. As a result, it's what they call a patchwork. It's a seemingly random mix of bits and pieces. Once you learn to accept that it doesn't make a lot of sense, it becomes easier to understand in some ways. As I noted, it varies significantly by country and region, the roles are changing and evolving, and they're oftentimes not clear because they really are not clear, meaning that an organization may be trying to figure out what role it's playing. From the outside, you want to know what it does, but if you're in that group, you might not know either, so you just have to accept there's a fair bit of uncertainty here. You'll need to learn how it works and who does what. Perhaps very importantly, is if your interest is business, you think, I want to get in this industry and I want to do something in it. You're going to have to look at the specific region and country you're interested in. Because what works in one region might not make sense in another region that has a totally different electricity structure. We'll take a quick break here and then, dive into fundamental concepts and ideas, and theories of the electricity industry.