Agglomerative Magnets and Informal Regulatory Networks: Electricity Market Design Convergence in the USA and Continental Europe
The absence of one broadly accepted design template for liberalised electricity markets induces regulatory competition and institutional diversity. Focussing on continental Europe and the USA, this analysis explores how agents and structures accelerate or impede the move to one standard market design in the electricity sector. It reveals that market design convergence in Europe is driven by the 'Florence Consensus,' a tripartite coalition between the European Commission fostering European integration and the internal market, informal regulatory networks between grid operators, standardisation authorities and regulators, who have been coordinating their actions in the 'Florence Forum,' and epistemic communities exemplified in the Florence School of Regulation. In contrast, the United States' Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lacks support among politicians, many states' public utility commissions, the neo-liberal intelligentsia and even industrial lobbying groups to effectively push for a standardised market design. However, design convergence in the USA may be induced by the gradual expansion of multi-state markets operated by regional transmission organisations.
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