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The role of policy in energy transitions: lessons from the energy liberalisation era

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  • Pollitt, M. G.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to discuss the period of energy privatisation and liberalisation which began in the 1980s within its wider historical context. The key issues are: what has been learned from this recent period, and; how significant is it in the light of an energy transition to low carbon energy system by 2050? Energy liberalisation has led to positive and globally widespread but modest efficiency gains but a lack of clearly visible direct benefits to households in many countries. It has significantly improved the governance of monopoly utilities (via independent regulators), the prospects for competition and innovation, and the quality of policy instruments for environmental emissions control (through the emergence of trading mechanisms). We conclude that it is not liberalisation per se that will determine the movement towards a low carbon energy transition, but the willingness of societies to bear the cost, which will be significant no matter what the extent of liberalisation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 1216.

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Date of creation: 04 Apr 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1216

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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm

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Keywords: energy liberalisation; energy privatisation; energy transition;

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References

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  1. Chisari, Omar & Estache, Antonio & Romero, Carlos, 1999. "Winners and Losers from the Privatization and Regulation of Utilities: Lessons from a General Equilibrium Model of Argentina," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 357-78, May.
  2. Tooraj Jamasb and Michael Pollitt, 2005. "Electricity Market Reform in the European Union: Review of Progress toward Liberalization & Integration," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 11-42.
  3. Mary O’Mahony & Michela Vecchi, 2001. "The Electricity Supply Industry: A Study of an Industry in Transition," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 177(1), pages 85-99, July.
  4. Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Electricity reform in Argentina: Lessons for developing countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1536-1567, July.
  5. Jamasb, Tooraj & Mota, Raffaella & Newbery, David & Pollitt, Michael, 2005. "Electricity sector reform in developing countries : a survey of empirical evidence on determinants and performance," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3549, The World Bank.
  6. Nagayama, Hiroaki, 2009. "Electric power sector reform liberalization models and electric power prices in developing countries: An empirical analysis using international panel data," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 463-472, May.
  7. Wolf, C. & Pollitt, M.G., 2009. "The Welfare Implications of Oil Privatisation: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Norway’s Statoil," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0912, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  8. Kwoka, John & Pollitt, Michael, 2010. "Do mergers improve efficiency? Evidence from restructuring the US electric power sector," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 645-656, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Erdogdu, Erkan, 2013. "Essays on Electricity Market Reforms: A Cross-Country Applied Approach," MPRA Paper 47139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Fiorio, Carlo V. & Florio, Massimo, 2013. "Electricity prices and public ownership: Evidence from the EU15 over thirty years," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 222-232.
  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. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p544jc8op is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Nadia Chernenko, 2013. "The Russian Electricity Supply Industry: from Reform to Reform?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1342, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  6. Francesco Vona & Francesco Nicolli, 2013. "Energy market liberalisation and renewable energy policies in oecd countries," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2013-10, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  7. Kamiński, Jacek, 2014. "A blocked takeover in the Polish power sector: A model-based analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 42-52.
  8. Paulo Moisés Costa & Nuno Bento & Vítor Marques, 2014. "Dealing with Technological Risk in a Regulatory Context: The Case of Smart Grids," GEMF Working Papers 2014-11, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  9. Rabindra, Nepal & Tooraj, Jamasb, 2013. "Caught Between Theory and Practice: Government, Market, and Regulatory Failure in Electricity Sector Reforms," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-22, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  10. Roger Fouquet, 2012. "Economics of Energy and Climate Change: Origins, Developments and Growth," Working Papers 2012-08, BC3.

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