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Economies of Scale and Scope in Multi-Utilities

Mehdi Farsi, Aurelio Fetz and Massimo Filippini

Year: 2008
Volume: Volume 29
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol29-No4-6
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Abstract:
This paper explores the economies of scale and scope in the electricity, gas and water utilities. These issues have a crucial importance in the actual policy debates about unbundling the integrated utilities into separate entities, a policy which has often been supported by the ongoing reforms in the deregulation of network industries. This paper argues that the potential improvements in efficiency through unbundling should be assessed against the loss of scope economies. Several econometric specifications including a random-coefficient model are used to estimate a cost function for a sample of utilities distributing electricity, gas and/or water to the Swiss population. The estimates of scale and scope economies are compared across different models and the effect of heterogeneity among companies are explored. While indicating considerable scope and scale economies overall, the results suggest a significant variation in scope economies across companies due to unobserved heterogeneity.



Cost, Contractors and Scale: An Empirical Analysis of the California Solar Market

Johannes Mauritzen

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: Number 6
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.6.jmau
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Abstract:
This paper presents an empirical analysis of the rapidly growing California rooftop solar photovoltaic market using detailed data of over 100,000 solar installations between 2007 and 2014. The rapid fall in the cost of solar panels stand central in the expansion of this market. I use a semi-parametric regression model to aid identification of cost factors by decomposing time-varying and cross-sectional components. I find that the use of Chinese manufactured panels are associated with costs that are 6% lower. Economies of scale at the local level (number of yearly installations in a zip code) and at the installation level (size of the installation) are also associated with lower costs. Higher subsidies, and higher contractor market-share are associated with higher costs. I use an exploratory analysis of the dominant contractor, SolarCity, to discuss non-cost factors in the expansion of the solar photovoltaic market.





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