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Editor's nightmare

On December 22, four hours after Windpower Monthly's January issue rolled off the presses, came the announcement from California that the scheduled start to deregulation of the state's electricity market was off. Having dedicated the cover, the leading editorial article and six feature pages to California deregulation, the joke was very much on this magazine. Such is the stuff of editors' nightmares.

To our readers who ploughed through all those words on the deregulation that never happened, please accept our apologies for putting you through it unnecessarily. When deregulation in California eventually comes to pass, we promise to update you on the latest green marketing initiatives open to wind -- and will politely refer you back to Windpower Monthly's excellent survey in January. One consolation for staff here has been the knowledge that our embarrassment has been nothing compared to that of the state's mighty deregulators, brought to their knees by computer bugs (page 33).

With hindsight, the delay to California's huge deregulation exercise was perhaps inevitable; eight months was a short time span in which to achieve it. As we pointed out last month, software problems were still rampant as D-day approached. It now appears, however, that consumers will be free to pick and choose their electricity supplier from April 1. The Independent System Operator and the Power Exchange are using upwards of $400,000 a day to get their act together by that date. For independent green power marketers the delay is both frustrating and costly. But it has given an extra three months in which to sell the virtues of wind power to a market of 32 million people.

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