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Electricity liberalization in Britain: The quest for a satisfactory wholesale market design

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  • David M. Newbery

Abstract

Britain was the exemplar of electricity market reform, demonstrating the importance of ownership unbundling and workable competition in generation and supply. Privatisation created de facto duopolies that supported increasing price-cost margins and induced excessive (English) entry. Concentration was ended by trading horizontal for vertical integration in subsequent mergers. Competition arrived just as the Pool was replaced by New Electricity Trading Arrangements (NETA) intended to address its claimed shortcomings. NETA cost over £700 million, and had ambiguous market impacts. Prices fell dramatically as a result of (pre-NETA) competition, generating companies withdrew plant, causing fears about security of supply and a subsequent widening of price-cost margins.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Association for Energy Economics in its journal The Energy Journal.

Volume (Year): Volume 26 (2005)
Issue (Month): Special Issue ()
Pages: 43-70

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Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2005se-a03

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  1. Newbery, D.M. & Pollitt, M.G., 1996. "The Restructuring and Privatisation of the CEGB: Was It Worth It?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9607, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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Cited by:
  1. Juan Rosellon & Jonas Egerer & Wolf-Peter Schill, 2013. "Power System Transformation towards Renewables: An Evaluation of Regulatory Approaches for Network Expansion," Working papers DTE 562, CIDE, División de Economía.
  2. Holmberg, Pär & Newbery, David, 2009. "The Supply Function Equilibrium and Its Policy Implications for Wholesale Electricity Auctions," Working Paper Series 812, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Hernandez Martinez, Fernando, 2006. "La producción de energía eléctrica en España: Análisis económico de la actividad tras la liberalización del Sector Eléctrico
    [Electricity output in Spain: Economic analysis of the activity
    ," MPRA Paper 18050, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Tishler, A. & Newman, J. & Spekterman, I. & Woo, C.K., 2008. "Assessing the options for a competitive electricity market in Israel," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 21-29, March.
  5. Pollitt, M., 2007. "Evaluating the evidence on electricity reform: Lessons for the South East Europe (SEE) market," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0756, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Tishler, Asher & Milstein, Irena & Woo, Chi-Keung, 2008. "Capacity commitment and price volatility in a competitive electricity market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1625-1647, July.
  7. Ochoa, Camila & Dyner, Isaac & Franco, Carlos J., 2013. "Simulating power integration in Latin America to assess challenges, opportunities, and threats," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 267-273.
  8. Milstein, Irena & Tishler, Asher, 2012. "The inevitability of capacity underinvestment in competitive electricity markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 62-77.
  9. Simona Bigerna & Carlo Andrea BOLLINO, 2012. "Electricity Demand in Wholesale Italian Market," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 108/2012, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia, Finanza e Statistica.
  10. de Nooij, Michiel & Baarsma, Barbara, 2009. "Divorce comes at a price: An ex ante welfare analysis of ownership unbundling of the distribution and commercial companies in the Dutch energy sector," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5449-5458, December.
  11. Foxon, T.J. & Pearson, P.J.G., 2007. "Towards improved policy processes for promoting innovation in renewable electricity technologies in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1539-1550, March.
  12. Safarzynska, Karolina & van den Bergh, Jeroen C.J.M., 2011. "Industry evolution, rational agents and the transition to sustainable electricity production," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6440-6452, October.
  13. Nowak, Bartlomiej, 2010. "Equal access to the energy infrastructure as a precondition to promote competition in the energy market. The case of European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3691-3700, July.
  14. Kimbrough, Steven O. & Murphy, Frederic H., 2013. "Strategic bidding of offer curves: An agent-based approach to exploring supply curve equilibria," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 229(1), pages 165-178.
  15. Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M., 2005. "Deregulation and R&D in Network Industries: The Case of the Electricity Industry," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0533, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

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