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International benchmarking of electricity transmission by regulators: A contrast between theory and practice?

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  • Haney, Aoife Brophy
  • Pollitt, Michael G.

Abstract

Benchmarking of electricity networks has a key role in sharing the benefits of efficiency improvements with consumers and ensuring regulated companies earn a fair return on their investments. This paper analyses and contrasts the theory and practice of international benchmarking of electricity transmission by regulators. We examine the literature relevant to electricity transmission benchmarking and discuss the results of a survey of 25 national electricity regulators. While new panel data techniques aimed at dealing with unobserved heterogeneity and the validity of the comparator group look intellectually promising, our survey suggests that they are in their infancy for regulatory purposes. In electricity transmission, relative to electricity distribution, choosing variables is particularly difficult, because of the large number of potential variables to choose from. Failure to apply benchmarking appropriately may negatively affect investors’ willingness to invest in the future. While few of our surveyed regulators acknowledge that regulatory risk is currently an issue in transmission benchmarking, many more concede it might be. In the meantime new regulatory approaches – such as those based on tendering, negotiated settlements, a wider range of outputs or longer term grid planning – are emerging and will necessarily involve a reduced role for benchmarking.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:62:y:2013:i:c:p:267-281
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.07.042
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nepal, Rabindra & Jamasb, Tooraj, 2015. "Incentive regulation and utility benchmarking for electricity network security," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 117-127.
    2. Orea, Luis & Álvarez, Inmaculada C. & Jamasb, Tooraj, 2016. "A spatial approach to control for unobserved environmental conditions when measuring firms’ technology: an application to Norwegian electricity distribution networks," Efficiency Series Papers 2016/06, University of Oviedo, Department of Economics, Oviedo Efficiency Group (OEG).
    3. Llorca, Manuel & Orea, Luis & Pollitt, Michael G., 2016. "Efficiency and environmental factors in the US electricity transmission industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 234-246.
    4. Orea, L. & Álvarez, I & Jamasb, T., 2016. "Using a spatial econometric approach to mitigate omitted variables in stochastic frontier models: An application to Norwegian electricity distribution networks," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1673, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Llorca, Manuel & Orea, Luis & Pollitt, Michael G., 2014. "Using the latent class approach to cluster firms in benchmarking: An application to the US electricity transmission industry," Operations Research Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 6-17.
    6. repec:aen:journl:ej38-4-orea is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Simshauser, Paul & Tian, Yuan & Whish-Wilson, Patrick, 2015. "Vertical integration in energy-only electricity markets," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 35-56.
    8. Orea, Luis & Jamasb, Tooraj, 2014. "Identifying efficient regulated firms with unobserved technological heterogeneity: A nested latent class approach to Norwegian electricity distribution networks," Efficiency Series Papers 2014/03, University of Oviedo, Department of Economics, Oviedo Efficiency Group (OEG).
    9. repec:eee:soceps:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:79-92 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Janda, Karel & Krska, Stepan, 2014. "Benchmarking Methods in the Regulation of Electricity Distribution System Operators," MPRA Paper 59442, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Laurens Cherchye & Bram De Rock & Pieter Jan Kerstens, 2016. " Production with storable and durable inputs: nonparametric analysis of intertemporal efficiency," Working Papers Department of Economics 549617, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.

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