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Energy R&D in private and state-owned utilities: An analysis of the major world electric companies

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  • Sterlacchini, Alessandro

Abstract

The last two decades have witnessed a staggering decline of R&D investment in the fields of energy and electricity. This paper contends that this widespread phenomenon is mainly ascribable to the processes of liberalization and privatization of electricity markets, which have induced electric utilities to dramatically reduce R&D expenditures. A closer inspection to recent data concerned with ten major electric companies of the world shows that the drop of research expenditures was particularly strong among the private or newly-privatized companies. Instead, those that remained under public control did not reduce remarkably their R&D efforts. According to the widely recognized need of a surge of energy R&D, the policy implications of the above findings are discussed.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421511008871
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 494-506

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:41:y:2012:i:c:p:494-506

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

Related research

Keywords: Energy R&D; Electric utilities; Public and private enterprises;

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References

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  1. Machiel Mulder & Victoria Shestalova & Gijsbert Zwart, 2006. "Liberalisation of European energy markets: challenges and policy options," CPB Document 138, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  2. Dooley, J J, 1998. "Unintended consequences: energy R&D in a deregulated energy market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 547-555, June.
  3. Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Liberalisation and R&D in network industries: The case of the electricity industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 995-1008, July.
  4. Calderini, Mario & Garrone, Paola, 2001. "Liberalisation, industry turmoil and the balance of R&D activities," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 199-230, June.
  5. Munari, Federico & Roberts, Edward B. & Sobrero, Maurizio, 2002. "Privatization processes and the redefinition of corporate R&D boundaries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 31-53, January.
  6. Luc BERNIER & Louis SIMARD, 2007. "The Governance Of Public Enterprises: The Quebec Experience," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(3), pages 455-474, 09.
  7. Paroma Sanyal, 2007. "The effect of deregulation on environmental research by electric utilities," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 335-353, June.
  8. Nemet, Gregory F. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2007. "U.S. energy research and development: Declining investment, increasing need, and the feasibility of expansion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 746-755, January.
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Cited by:
  1. AGRELL, Per & BOGETOFT, Peter, 2011. "Smart-grid investments, regulation and organization," CORE Discussion Papers 2011072, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Maria Teresa Costa-Campi & Néstor Duch-Brown & José García-Quevedo, 2013. "R&D drivers and obstacles to innovation in the energy industry," Working Papers 2013/23, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  3. Lionel Nesta & Francesco Vona & Francesco Nicolli, 2012. "Environmental policies, product market regulation and innovation in renewable energy," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2012-25, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  4. Schmitt, Stephan & Kucsera, Denes, 2013. "The Impact of the Regulatory Reform Process on R&D Investment of European Electricity Utilities," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80035, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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