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The effects of network regulation on electricity supply security: a European analysis

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  • Michael Schmidthaler

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  • Jed Cohen
  • Johannes Reichl
  • Stefan Schmidinger

Abstract

This paper analyzes the interactions of the regulation of distribution networks and electricity supply security. In particular, the hypothesis is tested that output-based regulatory frameworks, which implicitly take into account quality-of-supply-criteria, improve the level of reliability vis à vis purely incentive-based schemes. To do so, novel empirical evidence is analyzed based on a cross-country panel data set covering 27 countries for the period from 1999 to 2013. Regional heterogeneity and potential endogeneity are controlled for. We find that the introduction of output-based regulation, ceteris paribus, leads to reductions of the annual outage duration by 16.05 % on average when compared to incentive-based systems. Given the substantial economic costs of power outages, marginal reliability improvements have considerable economic effects, which can now be quantfied. In the, admittedly hypothetical, case that EU member states, who have not yet done so, were to implement quality-controlling regulation, macroeconomic benefits amount to 930 m. € p.a. The findings support the argument that the value of electricity supply security should be explicitly accounted for when revising regulatory regimes in the future and that investment and maintenance possibilities for regulated firms need to adequately reflect the economic benefits of high levels of service reliability. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Schmidthaler & Jed Cohen & Johannes Reichl & Stefan Schmidinger, 2015. "The effects of network regulation on electricity supply security: a European analysis," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 285-316, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:48:y:2015:i:3:p:285-316
    DOI: 10.1007/s11149-015-9277-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Friedl, Christina & Reichl, Johannes, 2016. "Realizing energy infrastructure projects – A qualitative empirical analysis of local practices to address social acceptance," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 184-193.
    2. Su, Meirong & Zhang, Mingqi & Lu, Weiwei & Chang, Xin & Chen, Bin & Liu, Gengyuan & Hao, Yan & Zhang, Yan, 2017. "ENA-based evaluation of energy supply security: Comparison between the Chinese crude oil and natural gas supply systems," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 888-899.
    3. Corton, Maria Luisa & Zimmermann, Aneliese & Phillips, Michelle Andrea, 2016. "The low cost of quality improvements in the electricity distribution sector of Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 485-493.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Electricity network regulation; Supply security; Reliability; Infrastructure enhancement; Econometric Analysis; G18; L51; Q41; Q43;

    JEL classification:

    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q43 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Energy and the Macroeconomy

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