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Transmission expansion in Argentina 1: The origins of policy

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  • Littlechild, Stephen C.
  • Skerk, Carlos J.

Abstract

As part of its electricity reform, Argentina developed a distinctive policy on transmission expansion. Market participants, rather than the transmission company or the regulator, would determine expansions. Initially, this policy proved controversial and some economists have been critical. This paper explains why it was decided to adopt the policy. The aim was to avoid the inefficiencies and over-expansions of the state-owned era. The solution was to introduce competition wherever possible and to minimise the role for regulation. The existing transmission system already contained several separate but coordinated transmission networks. Users would have the incentive to propose and approve expansions without the need for regulation, and competition was viable for the construction and operation of transmission expansions. The method has been criticised for allocating costs and votes according to usage instead of benefits. However, the method was pragmatic, to take advantage of the existing program for system control, and designed to limit the scope for subjective and unpredictable regulatory judgements. It has merit even where such problems do not apply, as a means of securing outcomes better tailored to the needs of users.

Suggested Citation

  • Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 1: The origins of policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1367-1384, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:1367-1384
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chisari, Omar O. & Dal-Bo, Pedro & Romero, Carlos A., 2001. "High-tension electricity network expansions in Argentina: decision mechanisms and willingness-to-pay revelation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 697-715, November.
    2. Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Electricity reform in Argentina: Lessons for developing countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1536-1567, July.
    3. Littlechild, S.C. & Skerk, C.J., 2004. "Regulation of transmission expansion in Argentina Part I: State ownership, reform and the Fourth Line," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0464, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 2: The Fourth Line revisited," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1385-1419, July.
    5. Abdala, Manuel A., 2008. "Governance of competitive transmission investment in weak institutional systems," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1306-1320, July.
    6. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 3: The evolution of policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1420-1461, July.
    7. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 6: Distribution companies, regulation and the Public Contest method," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1527-1535, July.
    8. Littlechild, S.C. & Skerk, C.J., 2004. "Regulation of transmission expansion in Argentina Part II: Developments since the Fourth Line," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0465, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    9. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Ponzano, Eduardo A., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 5: The regional electricity forum of Buenos Aires province," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1491-1526, July.
    10. Galetovic, Alexander & Inostroza, Juan Ricardo, 2008. "A lesson from Argentina: Setting transmission tolls in a competitive auction is much better than regulating them," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1334-1366, July.
    11. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 4: A review of performance," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1462-1490, July.
    12. Abdala, Manuel A., 2008. "Transmission pricing in privately-owned electricity grids: An illustration from the Argentine electricity pool," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1284-1305, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Clastres, Cédric, 2011. "Smart grids: Another step towards competition, energy security and climate change objectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 5399-5408, September.
    2. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 4: A review of performance," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1462-1490, July.
    3. Agrell, Per J. & Bogetoft, Peter & Mikkers, Misja, 2013. "Smart-grid investments, regulation and organization," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 656-666.
    4. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 3: The evolution of policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1420-1461, July.
    5. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Ponzano, Eduardo A., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 5: The regional electricity forum of Buenos Aires province," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1491-1526, July.
    6. Chambouleyron, Andrés, 2014. "Mitigating expropriation risk through vertical separation of public utilities: The case of Argentina," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 41-52.
    7. Stephen Littlechild, 2012. "Regulation and Customer Engagement," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1).
    8. Stephen Littlechild, 2012. "Merchant and regulated transmission: theory, evidence and policy," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 308-335, December.
    9. Strbac, Goran & Pollitt, Michael & Konstantinidis, Christos Vasilakos & Konstantelos, Ioannis & Moreno, Rodrigo & Newbery, David & Green, Richard, 2014. "Electricity transmission arrangements in Great Britain: Time for change?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 298-311.
    10. Cédric Clastres, 2010. "Les réseaux intelligents : régulation, investissement et gestion de la demande électrique," Post-Print halshs-00539818, HAL.
    11. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 2: The Fourth Line revisited," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1385-1419, July.
    12. Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Electricity reform in Argentina: Lessons for developing countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1536-1567, July.
    13. Cédric Clastres, 2011. "Smart grids : Another step towards competition, energy security and climate change objectives," Post-Print halshs-00617702, HAL.
    14. Erdogdu, Erkan, 2013. "Essays on Electricity Market Reforms: A Cross-Country Applied Approach," MPRA Paper 47139, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 6: Distribution companies, regulation and the Public Contest method," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1527-1535, July.

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