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Restructuring Russia's Electricity Sector: Towards Effective Competition or Faux Liberalisation?


  • William Tompson


Russia in 2003 embarked on the restructuring of its electricity sector. The reform is intended to introduce competition into electricity production and supply, leaving dispatch, transmission and distribution as regulated natural monopolies with non-discriminatory third-party access to the networks. The ultimate aim of the reform is to create conditions that will encourage both investment in new capacity and greater efficiency of both production and consumption. The overall approach embodied in the reform is promising. However, there remains a serious risk that its aims could be subverted by special-interest lobbying during the lengthy implementation phase. If the reform is to succeed, the marketised segments of the sector must be characterised by real competition based on economically meaningful prices. There are two dangers here. The first is that private-sector interests will secure strategic holdings that allow them to exercise market power or even local monopoly power. The ... La restructuration du secteur de l'électricité : Vers une véritable concurrence ou une fausse libéralisation? En 2003, la Russie a entrepris de restructurer le secteur de l’électricité. L’objectif de ces réformes est d’instaurer la concurrence aux stades de la production et de la fourniture, en laissant le dispatching, le transport et la distribution sous le régime de monopoles naturels réglementés assortis d’un accès non discriminatoire des tiers aux réseaux. Le but ultime de la réforme est de créer les conditions pour encourager l’investissement dans de nouvelles capacités de production aussi bien que l’augmentation de l’efficacité de la production et de la consommation. La stratégie générale de réforme est prometteuse. On ne peut cependant négliger le risque que les objectifs fondamentaux de la réforme soient relégués au second rang par les pressions exercées par des groupes d’intérêt spéciaux pendant tout le temps qui sera nécessaire à sa mise en œuvre. Pour que la réforme puisse réussir, la concurrence doit pouvoir véritablement jouer dans les segments du secteur ouverts aux forces du ...

Suggested Citation

  • William Tompson, 2004. "Restructuring Russia's Electricity Sector: Towards Effective Competition or Faux Liberalisation?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 403, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:403-en
    DOI: 10.1787/271755770050

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    Cited by:

    1. Hooper, Elizabeth & Medvedev, Andrei, 2009. "Electrifying integration: Electricity production and the South East Europe regional energy market," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 24-33, March.
    2. Pittman, Russell, 2007. "Restructuring the Russian electricity sector: Re-creating California?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 1872-1883, March.

    More about this item


    competition; concurrence; economy; electricity; entreprise d'État; grid; infrastructure; infrastructure; monopole; monopoly; privatisation; privatisation; Russia; Russie; réseau; state ownership; économie; électricité;

    JEL classification:

    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • P28 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Natural Resources; Environment
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions

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