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

  • Sterlacchini, Alessandro

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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421511008871
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 41 (2012)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 494-506

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:41:y:2012:i:c:p:494-506
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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  1. Paroma Sanyal, 2007. "The effect of deregulation on environmental research by electric utilities," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 335-353, June.
  2. Machiel Mulder & Victoria Shestalova & Gijsbert Zwart, 2006. "Liberalisation of European energy markets: challenges and policy options," CPB Document 138, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  3. Dooley, J J, 1998. "Unintended consequences: energy R&D in a deregulated energy market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(7), pages 547-555, June.
  4. Nemet, Gregory F. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2007. "U.S. energy research and development: Declining investment, increasing need, and the feasibility of expansion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 746-755, January.
  5. Munari, Federico & Roberts, Edward B. & Sobrero, Maurizio, 2002. "Privatization processes and the redefinition of corporate R&D boundaries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 31-53, January.
  6. Calderini, Mario & Garrone, Paola, 2001. "Liberalisation, industry turmoil and the balance of R&D activities," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 199-230, June.
  7. Luc BERNIER & Louis SIMARD, 2007. "The Governance Of Public Enterprises: The Quebec Experience," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(3), pages 455-474, 09.
  8. Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Liberalisation and R&D in network industries: The case of the electricity industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6-7), pages 995-1008, July.
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