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Energy R&D in private and state-owned utilities: An analysis of the major world electric companies

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  • Sterlacchini, Alessandro

Abstract

The 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 liberalization and privatization of electricity markets, which have induced electric utilities to dramatically reduce R&D expenditures. A closer inspection to recent data concerned with ten major electric companies of the world shows that the drop of research expenditures was particularly strong among the private or newly-privatized companies. Instead, those that remained under public control did not reduce remarkably their R&D efforts. According to the widely recognized need of a surge of energy R&D, the policy implications of the above findings are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:41:y:2012:i:c:p:494-506
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.11.010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Energy R&D; Electric utilities; Public and private enterprises;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; 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

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