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Natural Gas Policy: The Unresolved Issues

Thomas P. Lyon

Year: 1990
Volume: Volume 11
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol11-No2-2
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Abstract:
This paper analyzes the restructuring of the natural gas industry which has been going on for several years. It gives the background to the current attempts at restructuring and describes Stanford University's 9th study by the Energy Modeling Forum on North American gas markets which is the analytical basis for this paper. It then describes the tension between the two regulatory objectives, economic efficiency and satisfyingpublic policy concerns regarding the distribution of economic surplus, which must be considered in any analysis of regulatory policy and market structure in the natural gas industry. Ten key natural gas policy issues that remain unresolved are analyzed and a more general discussion of how the gas industry may evolve under several alternative sets of market conditions are presented. Finally, it considers howpoliticalpressures may affect gas policies in future.



What's in the Cards for Distributed Resources?

Johannes P. Pfeifenberger, Philip Q Hanser and Paul R. Ammann

Year: 1997
Volume: Volume 18
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol18-NoSI-1
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Abstract:
The electric utility industry is in the midst of enormous changes in its market structure. Mile the generation sector moves towards a truly competitive market, the utilities' transmission and distribution functions are undergoing a transition to unbundled services and prices. These changes will affect the competitionbetween distributed and central-station generation technology. Although the ultimate market potential for distributed generation may be significant, the market will be fragmented and heterogeneous. Distributed generation will likely succeed in some small and only a few medium-sized market segments, each narrowly defined by the segment's unique operating requirements. The largestpotential market segment is for distributed generation technology with operational and economical characteristics suitable for peak shaving. Unbundling of utility costs and prices will make base-load and intermediate load equipment, such as fuel cells, significantly less attractive in the largest market segments unless capital costs fall substantially below $1,000 per kilowatt.



Regulatory Policy Regarding Distributed Generation by Utilities: The Impact of Restructuring

Jay Morse

Year: 1997
Volume: Volume 18
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol18-NoSI-9
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Abstract:
Electricity industry restructuring is only now beginning to focus on the role of utilities in distributed generation (DG). This paper examines whether, as restructuring unfolds, regulators may permit investor-owned distribution companies to own DG, and if so, under what terms. Concomitantly, the paper explores how ownership of DG by distribution companies impacts electricity restructuring. The paper concludes that regulated utilities should readily obtain approval to install DG on utility sites as long as the utility remains vertically integrated. Approval is also possible for vertically integrated or restructured utilities to provide DG at customer sites if it is shareholder-funded and connected on the customer's side of the meter. However, distribution company ownership of DG at utility sites or on the utility's side of the meter conflicts with electricity industry restructuring. Regulatory approval under restructuring is therefore highly problematical. Should regulatory approval be granted, the need to mitigate vertical market power is likely to precipitate the disaggregation of the distribution company.



Computable Equilibrium Models and the Restructuring of the European Electricity and Gas Markets

Yves Smeers

Year: 1997
Volume: Volume18
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol18-No4-1
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Abstract:
More regulation, not less, is temporarily necessary, if effective, competition is to be established in network industries. This paradox places new requirements on computable models: they should provide realistic descriptions of technologies but also of markets and institutions. Industrial economics and computation of economic equilibrium can help achieve this dual requirement. This paper discusses their potential in the context of the deregulation of the European gas and electricity sectors. Some key elements of the European legislative process are first presented in order to point out the diversity of institutions that can emerge and to highlight the need to model institutions. Perfect competition equilibrium models although institutionally poor are argued to be useful for ex post analysis. Applications of the standard Cournot and' Bertrand paradigms in ex ante analysis of gas and electricity markets are reviewed next. Models combining market power and externalities are then discussed with reference to electricity restructuring. Finally multistage equilibrium models are introduced in the context of investment in gas and electricity. Computation remarks conclude the paper.



Market Power in Electricity Markets: Beyond Concentration Measures

Severin Borenstein, James Bushnell and Christopher R. Knittel

Year: 1999
Volume: Volume20
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol20-No4-3
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Abstract:
The wave of electricity market restructuring both within the United States and abroad has brought the issue of horizontal market power to the forefront of energy policy. Traditionally, estimation and prediction of market power has relied heavily on concentration measures. In this paper, we discuss the weaknesses of concentration measures as a viable measure of market power in the electricity industry, and we propose an alternative method based oil market simulations that take advantage of existing plant level data. We discuss results from previous studies the authors have performed, and present new results that allow for the detection of threshold demand levels where market power is likely to be a problem. In addition, we analyze the impact of that recent divestitures in the California electricity market will have on estimated market power. We close with a discussion of the policy implications of the results.



Powering Progress: Restructuring, Competition, and R&D in the U.S. Electric Utility Industry

Paroma Sanyal and Linda R. Cohen

Year: 2009
Volume: Volume 30
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol30-No2-3
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Abstract:
This paper investigates the R&D behavior of regulated firms when they transition to a competitive environment. Using data from the US electricity market from 1990-2000, we analyze how competition, institutional changes, and political constraints have contributed to the precipitous decline in R&D expenditure by regulated utilities. We find that firms reduce their R&D significantly at the very early stages of restructuring or even when they expect restructuring to occur. Once the emerging institutional structure becomes clear, R&D spending recovers but is later offset by another decline when restructuring legislation is enacted. In addition, greater competition and the nearing of such competition adversely affects research spending. In aggregate, R&D declines by 78.6 percent after electricity markets are restructured. Firm and state characteristics matter, and a majority of the research is conducted by large generation companies located in pro-research states, especially if they are part of a larger holding company. Such characteristics have a different impact on research spending in the pre-and post-restructured periods.



The Impact of Electricity Sector Restructuring on Coal-fired Power Plants in India

Kabir Malik, Maureen Cropper, Alexander Limonov and Anoop Singh

Year: 2015
Volume: Volume 36
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.4.kmal
View Abstract

Abstract:
We examine whether the unbundling of generation from transmission and distribution services at state-owned power plants in India improved operating efficiency at these power plants. Between 1995 and 2009, 85 percent of coal-based generation capacity owned by state governments was unbundled from vertically integrated State Electricity Boards into state generating companies. We find that generating units in states that unbundled before the Electricity Act of 2003 experienced reductions in forced outages of about 25% and improvements in availability of about 10%, with the largest results occurring 3-5 years after unbundling. We find no evidence of improvements in thermal efficiency at state-owned power plants due to unbundling.



Regional Opportunities for China To Go Low-Carbon: Results from the REEC Model

Hongbo Duan, Lei Zhu, Gürkan Kumbaroglu, and Ying Fan

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: China Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.SI1.hdua
View Abstract

Abstract:
The intention of this paper is to (i) introduce a multi-regional dynamic emissions trading model and (ii) examine the potential impact of an emissions trading scheme (ETS) on the long-term evolution of energy technologies from national and regional perspectives in China. The establishment of this model is a salutary attempt to Sinicize the global integrated assessment model that combines economy, energy, and environment systems. The simulation results indicate that: (1) for majority of regions, ETS is more effective in cutting CO2 emissions than a harmonized carbon tax (HCT), but this might not be true for the entire country, which means that these two options have little difference in overall carbon reduction; (2) carbon tax policy is a more cost-effective option in curbing CO2 with respect to ETS in the long run; (3) neither ETS nor pure carbon tax provide enough incentives for the breakthrough of carbon-free energy technologies, which illustrates that matching with some other support policies, such as subsidies and R&D investment, is essential to extend the niche market; and (4) In the context of ETS, the diffusion of non-fossil technologies in regions that act as sellers performs much better than this diffusion in the buyer regions.



Have Model, Will Reform? Assessing the Outcome of Electricity Reforms in Non-OECD Asia

Anupama Sen, Rabindra Nepal, and Tooraj Jamasb

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.4.asen
View Abstract

Abstract:
Non-OECD Asian economies comprise about 34% of world primary energy demand, 60% of population and 65% of the world's poor, and will account for more than 60% of the total increase in energy consumption between 2015 and 2040. Energy sector reforms in non-OECD Asia are thus significant for global energy use, sustainability and socio-economic welfare. The region has experienced a slow and difficult reform path and after more than two decades of reform efforts it is time to take stock of their outcomes. Using a novel dataset assembled for this purpose for the period 1990-2013 for 17 non-OECD Asian countries, we apply instrumental variables regression techniques to several electricity sector reform outcome models. We find that the standard reform model has had limited benefits, largely due to sectoral heterogeneity and institutional endowments. We also show empirical evidence of the theoretical trade-offs between technical efficiency, economic and welfare objectives of reforms. The results call for rethinking of the effectiveness of reforms and awareness of the effects of key reform steps on different outcomes. This is useful for balancing the trade-offs among competing reform objectives.



Technology Choices in the U.S. Electricity Industry before and after Market Restructuring

Zsuzsanna Csereklyei and David I. Stern

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 5
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.5.zcse
View Abstract

Abstract:
We study the drivers of the adoption of electricity generation technologies between 1970 and 2014 in the lower 48 U.S. states. Since the 1990s, major electricity market restructuring took place in some parts of the United States. We explore the implications of changing from a regulated "cost-of-service", or rate of return, system to liberalized wholesale electricity markets on technology and fuel choices. We find that wholesale market restructuring resulted in significant immediate investment in various natural gas technologies due to higher expected profits, and a reduction in coal investments. In states that adopted liberalized wholesale electricity markets, higher natural gas price expectations resulted in more investment in coal and renewable technologies, while higher coal price expectations resulted in lower coal-fired baseload power investments. Natural gas price expectations, therefore, have the potential to significantly shape the power generation landscape of the future.Keywords: Technology choices, Electricity industry, Market restructuring




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