Investment Coordination in Network Industries: The Case of Electricity Grid and Electricity
Liberalization of network industries frequently separates the network from the other parts of the industry. This is important in particular for the electricity industry where private firms invest into generation facilities, while net- work investments usually are controlled by regulators. We discuss two regulatory regimes. First, the regulator can only decide on the network extension. Second, she can additionally use a "capacity market" with payments contingent on private generation investment. For the first case, we find that even absent asymmetric information, a lack of regulatory commitment can cause inefficiently high or inefficiently low investments. For the second case, we develop a standard handicap auction which implements the first best under asymmetric information, if there are no shadow costs of public funds. With shadow costs, no simple mechanism can implement the second best outcome.
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