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