Energy R&D in private and state-owned utilities: an analysis of the major world electric companies
AbstractThe 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 liberalisation and privatisation of electricity markets which have induced electric utilities to dramatically reduce R&D expenditures. However, a closer inspection to recent data concerned with ten major electric companies of the world shows that not all of them behaved in the same way. The drop of research expenditures was particularly strong among the private or newly-privatised companies, while those that remained under public control did not reduce R&D efforts. Moreover, the choice of maintaining an adequate level of R&D was not at odds with the goal of increasing company profits. According to these findings and to the widely recognised need of a surge of energy R&D, radical policy measures seem necessary. Along with an R&D obligation for private electric utilities, also an extension of public ownership or the introduction of public-private partnerships should be seriously taken into account.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 20972.
Date of creation: 25 Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Energy R&D; Electric utilities; Public and private enterprises;
Other versions of this item:
- Sterlacchini, Alessandro, 2012. "Energy R&D in private and state-owned utilities: An analysis of the major world electric companies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 494-506.
- Alessandro STERLACCHINI, 2010. "Energy R&D in private and state-owned utilities: an analysis of the major world electric companies," Departmental Working Papers 2010-29, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
- O30 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
- L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
- L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-03-06 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2010-03-06 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-INO-2010-03-06 (Innovation)
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