Energy, the State, and the Market: British Energy Policy since 1979
AbstractThe transformation of Britain's energy policy in the last two decades has been more radical than any such change in developed economies. Since 1979 the great state energy monopolies created after the Second World War have been privatised and made subject to competition. Images of Arthur Scargill and the miners' strike of the 1980s remain vivid, but what effect has the new market philosophy had on Britain's energy industries? Since 1979 the National Coal Board, British Gas, and the Central Electricity Generating Board have all been broken up. Energy trading, electricity pools, auctions, and futures markets first developed, but they failed to solve the old energy policy problems of security of supply and network integrity, and the new ones of the environment and reliance on gas. The government introduced a new regulatory regime as a temporary necessity but regulation did not wither away, rather it grew to be more pervasive. Changing the ownership of the industries did not reduce the government's involvement, it simply changed its form. The 1980s and 1990s were years of energy surpluses and low fossil-fuel prices. There was little need to invest, and much of the investment in the so-called dash for gas was artificially stimulated. The new owners sweated the assets, and engaged in major financial engineering. Takeovers consolidated the industry into a smaller number of dominant firms. As investment priorities became more urgent, with the environmental pressures of climate change and the gradual switch to imported gas, the market philosophy was found wanting. Energy policy could not rely solely on the market. And it is the government which finds itself responsible for resolving the core issues of energy policy. Helm's book tells this story. It is a major study of the new market approach to energy policy in Britain since 1979. It describes the miners' strike, the privatisations of the gas, electricity, nuclear generation, and coal industries, and looks at events such as the dash for gas, regulatory failures in setting monopoly prices, and the takeovers and the consolidations of the late 1990s. Helm sets out the achievements of the new market philosophy, but also analyses why it has ultimately failed to turn energy industries into normal commodity businesses. The revised paperback edition includes a new chapter on the White Paper on a low-carbon economy and updated discussions on nuclear power, to incorporate the 2003 Nuclear White Paper, price reviews, and emissions trading.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoThis book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780199270743 and published in 2004.
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.oup.com/
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Atkinson, Jonathan G.B. & Jackson, Tim & Mullings-Smith, Elizabeth, 2009. "Market influence on the low carbon energy refurbishment of existing multi-residential buildings," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2582-2593, July.
- 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.
- Pollitt, Michael, 2009. "Evaluating the evidence on electricity reform: Lessons for the South East Europe (SEE) market," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 13-23, March.
- Haar, Laura N. & Jones, Trefor, 2008. "Misreading liberalisation and privatisation: The case of the US energy utilities in Europe," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 2610-2619, July.
- Dieter Helm, 2005. "Economic Instruments and Environmental Policy," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 36(3), pages 205-228.
- Woodman, B. & Mitchell, C., 2011. "Learning from experience? The development of the Renewables Obligation in England and Wales 2002-2010," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 3914-3921, July.
- Jupe, Robert, 2012. "The privatization of British Energy: Risk transfer and the state," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 116-129.
- FitzGerald, John & Keeney, Mary J. & McCarthy, Niamh & O'Malley, Eoin & Scott, Susan, 2005. "Aspects of Irish Energy Policy," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS57.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Economics Book Marketing).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.