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Reconsidering the European regulation of merchant transmission investment in light of the third energy package: The role of dominant generators

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  • de Hauteclocque, Adrien
  • Rious, Vincent

Abstract

The regulation of merchant transmission investment (MTI) has become an important issue in the EU electricity sector, subsequent to the granting of authorizations by European authorities to five merchant projects: BritNed, Estlink, the East West Cables, NorGer and recently a merchant line connecting Italy and Austria. The creation of a new Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) at the EU level, which has decision-making powers on MTI, therefore presents a unique opportunity to question and re-design the current European policy. This paper shows that the recent decisions concerning MTI may suffer a strong bias against dominant electricity generators while incumbent Transmission System Operators (TSOs) or new entrant TSOs are generally favored by national regulators and the European Commission (EC). This strategy is misguided as it fails to recognize both the new incentives of generators to develop MTI and the conflict of interest between the regulated and non-regulated activities of incumbent TSOs. Letting dominant generators undertake MTI is indeed generally beneficial as long as potential abuses of dominance are mitigated. To deter possible anti-competitive effects, we propose a new and feasible allocation of regulatory powers based on a clear demarcation between the market monitoring powers of ACER and the antitrust powers of the EC.

Suggested Citation

  • de Hauteclocque, Adrien & Rious, Vincent, 2011. "Reconsidering the European regulation of merchant transmission investment in light of the third energy package: The role of dominant generators," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(11), pages 7068-7077.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:11:p:7068-7077
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.08.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Federico Boffa & Viswanath Pingali & Francesca Sala, 2015. "Strategic investment in merchant transmission: the impact of capacity utilization rules," Working Papers 2015/12, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    2. Clemens Gerbaulet & Alexander Weber, 2014. "Is There Still a Case for Merchant Interconnectors?: Insights from an Analysis of Welfare and Distributional Aspects of Options for Network Expansion in the Baltic Sea Region," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1404, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Boffa, Federico & Pingali, Viswanath & Sala, Francesca, 2015. "Strategic investment in merchant transmission: The impact of capacity utilization rules," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 455-463.
    4. van Koten, Silvester, 2012. "Merchant interconnector projects by generators in the EU: Profitability and allocation of capacity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 748-758.
    5. Ringler, Philipp & Keles, Dogan & Fichtner, Wolf, 2017. "How to benefit from a common European electricity market design," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 629-643.
    6. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:96-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:eco:journ2:2017-05-13 is not listed on IDEAS

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