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Swapping Generators' Assets: Market Salvation or Wishful Thinking?


  • Anthony Downward
  • David Young
  • Golbon Zakeri


The idea of rearranging generation assets amongst firms to improve competition has once again surfaced in a recent report on improvements to the New Zealand Electricity Market. We present counterexamples to show that rearranging assets, either with asset divestiture to a new firm, or asset swaps between existing firms, may actually reduce competition in electricity markets. Our examples emphasize features that are particular to electricity, such as seasonality and transmission constraints. These results warn that applying economic rules of thumb to electricity markets may lead to erroneous conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony Downward & David Young & Golbon Zakeri, 2011. "Swapping Generators' Assets: Market Salvation or Wishful Thinking?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 31-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2011v32-02-a02

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bunn, Derek W. & Oliveira, Fernando S., 2016. "Dynamic capacity planning using strategic slack valuation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 253(1), pages 40-50.
    2. Downward, Anthony & Young, David & Zakeri, Golbon, 2016. "Electricity retail contracting under risk-aversion," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 251(3), pages 846-859.
    3. N. Gülpınar & F. Oliveira, 2014. "Analysis of relationship between forward and spot markets in oligopolies under demand and cost uncertainties," Computational Management Science, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 267-283, July.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


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