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Transmission expansion in Argentina 4: A review of performance

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

Abstract

In 1992 Argentina's electricity reform provided an innovative approach to transmission expansion. In particular, major expansions were determined by the Public Contest method - that is, by votes of transmission users rather than by the transmission company or the regulatory body - and then put out to competitive tender. This paper reviews the overall performance of that policy. There was substantial new transmission investment, especially in control systems and transformers rather than extra-high-voltage lines: an achievement of the policy lies in making better use of the existing transmission system. The number and value of Public Contest transmission expansion projects were steadily growing over time until Argentina's economic crisis, particularly at sub-transmission level. Transactions costs were not a problem in the Public Contest method: the median number of voters was 5, and the process was generally characterised by harmony between participants rather than by discord. Distribution companies supported rather than obstructed the process, though there was scope to improve the provincial regulatory framework. There was effective competition to build and operate the expansions, with a median of 3 bids for each and the incumbent winning less than one fifth. Such competition roughly halved the cost of new lines. This contrasts with lines built under the present Federal Transmission Plan at two and a half times the previous cost.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:1462-1490
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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. 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.
    3. Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Electricity reform in Argentina: Lessons for developing countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1536-1567, July.
    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. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Stephen C. Littlechild & Carlos J. Skerk, 2004. "Regulation of transmission expansion in Argentina Part I: State ownership, reform and the Fourth Line," Working Papers EP61, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    9. 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.
    10. Stephen C. Stephen C. & Carlos J. Skerk, 2004. "Regulation of Transmission Expansion in Argentina: Part II – Developments Since the Fourth Line," Working Papers EP62, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
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    1. Stephen Littlechild, 2016. "Contrasting Developments in UK Energy Regulation: Retail Policy and Consumer Engagement," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(2), pages 118-132, June.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Bell, Keith & Gill, Simon, 2018. "Delivering a highly distributed electricity system: Technical, regulatory and policy challenges," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 765-777.
    5. Stephen Littlechild, 2012. "Merchant and regulated transmission: theory, evidence and policy," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 308-335, December.
    6. 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.
    7. Haney, Aoife Brophy & Pollitt, Michael G., 2013. "International benchmarking of electricity transmission by regulators: A contrast between theory and practice?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 267-281.
    8. 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.
    9. Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Electricity reform in Argentina: Lessons for developing countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1536-1567, July.
    10. 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.
    11. Erdogdu, Erkan, 2013. "Essays on Electricity Market Reforms: A Cross-Country Applied Approach," MPRA Paper 47139, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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