Sterlacchini, Alessandro (2010): Energy R&D in private and state-owned utilities: an analysis of the major world electric companies.
Download (272kB) | Preview
The last two decades have witnessed a staggering decline of R&D investment in the fields of energy and electricity. This paper contends that this widespread phenomenon is mainly ascribable to the processes of liberalisation and privatisation of electricity markets which have induced electric utilities to dramatically reduce R&D expenditures. However, a closer inspection to recent data concerned with ten major electric companies of the world shows that not all of them behaved in the same way. The drop of research expenditures was particularly strong among the private or newly-privatised companies, while those that remained under public control did not reduce R&D efforts. Moreover, the choice of maintaining an adequate level of R&D was not at odds with the goal of increasing company profits. According to these findings and to the widely recognised need of a surge of energy R&D, radical policy measures seem necessary. Along with an R&D obligation for private electric utilities, also an extension of public ownership or the introduction of public-private partnerships should be seriously taken into account.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||Energy R&D in private and state-owned utilities: an analysis of the major world electric companies|
|Keywords:||Energy R&D; Electric utilities; Public and private enterprises|
|Subjects:||O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O3 - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights > O30 - General
L - Industrial Organization > L9 - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities > L94 - Electric Utilities
L - Industrial Organization > L3 - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise > L33 - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprises and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
|Depositing User:||Alessandro Sterlacchini|
|Date Deposited:||25. Feb 2010 18:40|
|Last Modified:||12. Feb 2013 14:20|
Ardoin, P. J. and D. Grady (2006) The Politics of Electricity Restructuring in the American States: Power Failure and Policy Failure, State & Local Government Review, vol. 38, pp. 165-175.
Advisory Group on Energy (2005) Key Tasks for future European Energy R&D, Report prepared for the European Commission, Directorate-General for Research Sustainable Energy Systems, European Communities, Luxembourg.
Autorità per l’Energia Elettrica e il Gas (2009) Oneri generali del sistema elettrico: finanziamento delle attività di ricerca e sviluppo (www.autorita.energia.it/it/A5.htm).
Bernier, L. and L. Simard (2007) The Governance of Public Enterprise: The Quebec Experience, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Vol. 78, pp. 455-474.
Blumstein, C. and S. Wiel (1998) Public-interest Research and Development in the Electric and Gas Utility Industries, Utilities Policy, Vol. 7, pp. 191-199.
CPB – Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (2006) Liberalisation of European energy markets: challenges and policy options, CPB Document No. 138, December.
Calderini, M. and P. Garrone (2001) Liberalisation, Industry Turmoil and the Balance of R&D Activities, Information Economics and Policy, Vol. 13, pp. 199-230.
Dooley, J.J. (1998) Unintended Consequences: Energy R&D in a Deregulated Energy Market, Energy Policy, Vol. 26, pp. 547-555.
Eurelectric (2003) R&D in EUROELECTRIC Countries: 2002 Update, Research and Development Working Group, Ref: 2002-520-013, Union of Electricity Industry, Brussels, January.
ERMInE (2008) Map of Industrial Electricity RDT in Europe, Data Mining Final Report of the Project titled “Electricity Research Road Map in Europe”, February 29, 2008 (http://www.ermine.ce siricerca.it/content/files/MAP%20REPORT/map%20report%20final.pdf).
Feneyrol, M. (2002) Regulation: What Level of Interaction with Research and Development?, Communications & Strategies, No. 48, pp. 73-82.
FINERGY (2003) European Electricity Market Perspective, Finnish Energy Industries Federation, Project Report NR.11 (www.energia.fi/en/publications/europeanelectricitymarket perspectives.pdf).
Jamasb, T. and M. Pollit (2008) Liberalisation and R&D in network industries: The case of electricity industry, Research Policy, Vol. 37, pp. 995-1008.
Lazonick, W. and M. O’Sullivan (2000) Maximizing shareholder value: a new ideology for corporate governance, Economy and Society, Vol. 29, pp. 13-15.
Munari, F., E. Roberts and M. Sobrero (2002) Privatization Processes and the Redefinition of Corporate R&D Boundaries, Research Policy, Vol. 31, pp. 31-53.
Nemet, G. F. and D. M. Kammen (2007) U.S. Energy Research and Development: Declining Investment, Increasing Need, and the Feasibility of Expansion, Energy Policy, Vol. 35, pp.746-755.
OECD (2004) OECD Economic Survey of Canada 2004: Electricity Sector, OECD, Paris.
Sanyal, P. (2007) The effect of deregulation on environmental research by electric utilities, Journal of Regulatory Economics, Vol. 31, pp. 335-353.
Sterlacchini (2006) The R&D Drop in European Utilities. Should we care about it? Druid Working Paper, No. 06-19, Danish Research Unit for Industrial Dynamics.
TEPCO (2005) Electricity Market in Japan, Tokyo Electric Power Company, presentation predisposed for the Study Mission of the Japan Electric Association (www.tep.co.co.jp/en/news/presen/pdf-1/0406-e.pdf).
Thomas, S. (2004) The Future of Research and Development in the UK Gas Industry, Report of the Public Service International Research Unit (PSIRU), University of Greenwich (www.psiru.org).
Thomas, S. (2006a) The grin of the Cheshire cat, Energy Policy, Vol. 34, pp. 1974-1983.
Thomas, S. (2006b) Electricity Liberalization Experiences in the World, mimeo, Public Service International Research Unit (PSIRU), University of Greenwich (www.psiru.org).