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Investment and Efficiency under Incentive Regulation: The Case of the Norwegian Electricity Distribution Networks

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  • Rahmatallah Poudineh
  • Tooraj Jamasb

Abstract

Following the liberalisation of the electricity industry since the early 1990s, many sector regulators have recognised the potential for cost efficiency improvement in the networks through incentive regulation aided by benchmarking and productivity analysis. This approach has often resulted in cost efficiency and quality of service improvement. However, there remains a growing concern as to whether the utilities invest sufficiently and efficiently in maintaining and modernising the networks to ensure long term reliability and also to meet future challenges of the grid. This paper analyses the relationship between investments and cost efficiency in the context of incentive regulation with ex-post regulatory treatment of investments using a panel dataset of 126 Norwegian distribution companies from 2004 to 2010. We introduce the concept of “no impact efficiency” as a revenue-neutral efficiency effect of investment under incentive regulation which makes a firm “investment efficient” in cost benchmarking practice. Also, we estimate the observed efficiency effect of investments in order to compare with no impact efficiency and discuss the implication of cost benchmarking for investment behaviour of network companies.

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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 1310.

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Date of creation: 02 Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1310

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

Related research

Keywords: Investments; cost efficiency; incentive regulation; distribution network;

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  1. Tovar, Beatriz & Javier Ramos-Real, Francisco & de Almeida, Edmar Fagundes, 2011. "Firm size and productivity. Evidence from the electricity distribution industry in Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 826-833, February.
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  3. Paul L Joskow, 2005. "Incentive Regulation In Theory And Practice - Electricity Distribution And Transmission Networks," Working Papers 0514, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
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  6. repec:reg:wpaper:255 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Artur Morgado & Julio Pindado, 2003. "The Underinvestment and Overinvestment Hypotheses: an Analysis Using Panel Data," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 9(2), pages 163-177.
  8. Hirschhausen, Christian von, 2008. "Infrastructure, regulation, investment and security of supply: A case study of the restructured US natural gas market," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-10, March.
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  12. Giannakis, Dimitrios & Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2005. "Benchmarking and incentive regulation of quality of service: an application to the UK electricity distribution networks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(17), pages 2256-2271, November.
  13. Growitsch, Christian & Jamasb, Tooraj & Wetzel, Heike, 2012. "Efficiency effects of observed and unobserved heterogeneity: Evidence from Norwegian electricity distribution networks," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 542-548.
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  16. Abhiman Das & Subal C. Kumbhakar, 2012. "Productivity and efficiency dynamics in Indian banking: An input distance function approach incorporating quality of inputs and outputs," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 205-234, 03.
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  20. Hess, Borge & Cullmann, Astrid, 2007. "Efficiency analysis of East and West German electricity distribution companies - Do the "Ossis" really beat the "Wessis"?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 206-214, September.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:cam:camdae:1324 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Anna Pechan, 2014. "Which Incentives Does Regulation Give to Adapt Network Infrastructure to Climate Change? - A German Case Study," Working Papers V-365-14, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised May 2014.

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