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Regulation of transmission expansion in Argentina Part I: State ownership, reform and the Fourth Line

Author

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  • Littlechild, S.C.
  • Skerk, C.J.

Abstract

From 1992 to 2002, major expansions of the Argentine electricity transmission sector depended on users proposing, voting and paying for such expansions, which were then put out to competitive tender. Commentators hold this novel policy to have been unsuccessful, mainly on the ground that it substantially delayed investment in a much needed “Fourth Line” to Buenos Aire. This paper challenges this interpretation. The policy was chosen because the conventional regulatory framework could not be trusted to deliver more efficient transmission investment decisions. The delay to the Fourth Line was short. Most importantly, the Fourth Line was not economic. Hence the delay was beneficial both in deferring and in reducing costs. It indicated a need to reappraise transmission investment policy because the availability of gas had made it more economic to generate electricity near Buenos Aires than to transmit it a long distance.

Suggested Citation

  • Littlechild, S.C. & Skerk, C.J., 2004. "Regulation of transmission expansion in Argentina Part I: State ownership, reform and the Fourth Line," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0464, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0464
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 1: The origins of policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1367-1384, July.
    2. M. Pollitt, 2004. "Electricity reform in Chile. Lessons for developing countries," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 5(3), pages 221-263, September.
    3. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 4: A review of performance," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1462-1490, July.
    4. Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Electricity reform in Argentina: Lessons for developing countries," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1536-1567, July.
    5. Erdogdu, Erkan, 2013. "A cross-country analysis of electricity market reforms: Potential contribution of New Institutional Economics," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 239-251.
    6. Rosellon, Juan, 2007. "An incentive mechanism for electricity transmission expansion in Mexico," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 3003-3014, May.
    7. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Ponzano, Eduardo A., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 5: The regional electricity forum of Buenos Aires province," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1491-1526, July.
    8. Littlechild, S.C. & Skerk, C.J., 2004. "Regulation of transmission expansion in Argentina Part II: Developments since the Fourth Line," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0465, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    9. Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "The arguments for and against ownership unbundling of energy transmission networks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 704-713, February.
    10. Thomas-Olivier Léautier & Véronique Thelen, 2009. "Optimal expansion of the power transmission grid: why not?," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 127-153, October.
    11. Littlechild, Stephen C. & Skerk, Carlos J., 2008. "Transmission expansion in Argentina 2: The Fourth Line revisited," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1385-1419, July.
    12. Erdogdu, Erkan, 2011. "Determinants of successful electricity market reform," MPRA Paper 38410, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Abdala, Manuel A., 2008. "Governance of competitive transmission investment in weak institutional systems," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1306-1320, July.
    14. Doucet, Joseph & Littlechild, Stephen, 2006. "Negotiated settlements: The development of legal and economic thinking," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 266-277, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Argentina; electricity; transmission; regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L98 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Government Policy

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