J. Bower

Contact

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                    [post_date] => 2014-05-06 12:27:33
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                    [post_content] => This comment analyses the political economy aspects of the electricity market reform that has been proposed by recent changes to the Constitution in Mexico. It identifies the main political and economic barriers that could potentially prevent the reform from progressing. Although privatization is not being considered, Mexico is following closely the same deregulation-commercialization path to electricity market reform as has been implemented since the early 1990 in many developed countries. The danger is that the potential gains for the Mexican economy from electricity market deregulation will be delayed for many years if the reforms become trapped in a political impasse over electricity subsidies and commercializing Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE). We propose an alternative route that takes into account the economic, political and social realities of Mexico, recognizing that our proposal is a 'second best' alternative, but one that increases the chances of success as compared to trying and ultimately failing to implement the 'first best' standard solution.
                    [post_title] => In Search of the Mexican Way - How to kick start competition in the electricity sector and achieve lower tariffs
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                    [post_content] => Despite falling production volumes and recent modifications to the way it is traded and prices reported, Brent crude oil produced in the North Sea remains the dominant marker grade for most of the crude oil produced and consumed outside of the Americas. This paper derives from a fundamental observation made by Paul Horsnell and Robert Mabro1 which is that 80% of the physical, so called, dated Brent cargoes traded are still to be loaded at the time of the transaction. From its inception, the logistics of the Brent market meant that there was an average gap of roughly thirteen days between a dated Brent contract agreement being made and the first day of the three-day date range when the parcel of oil is to be loaded on to the vessel. Recent contract reforms now mean the gap has been extended to an average gap of 17 days. This is not the case, for example, in the market for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) which is the dominant crude oil marker grade for the Americas. Spot WTI is traded for immediate delivery. Given the
importance of dated Brent crude as a marker, this observation has an important impact on the way we represent the term structure of spot and forward prices of Brent crude. Horsnell and Mabro did not develop their observation further but it has implications for the classical formulation of convenience yield and the theory of storage in relation to the North Sea oil market.
                    [post_title] => Redefining the Convenience Yield in the North Sea Crude Oil Market
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                    [post_content] => Current UK energy policy is adversely affecting investment decisions in the power generation sector. John Bower examines current policy and seeks a pragmatic solution. (published in Platts European Electricity Review 2004)
                    [post_title] => The UK Energy Policy Accident: Driving into a Wall?
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                    [post_content] => The UK transport sector pays 94% of all environmental taxes but is only responsible for 26% of national CO2 emissions. A uniform fossil carbon input tax across the entire UK economy at a rate equivalent to £30 tCO2 emitted and combined with a £0.20 per kilometre motorway congestion charge would be a far a better way of delivering on the 2003 Energy and 2004 Transport White Papers' objectives.
                    [post_title] => Carbon and Congestion: Can HM Treasury Save the White Paper?
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                    [post_content] => The UK renewable energy industry should stop lobbying government for subsidies and extensions of the RO scheme but instead push for a sharper CO2 allowance price signal from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). A target price of Euro 45 per tonne CO2 would be sufficient to support a secure and sustainable mix of new gas-fired and renewable electricity generation capacity investment in the UK.
                    [post_title] => An alternative 20:20 vision of the UK energy sector: Energy Trading Solutions in a Carbon Free World
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                    [post_content] => The UK government must acknowledge that the electricity industry alone cannot bear the entire burden of CO2 emission reduction. The current best option for the UK economy is if power generators and energy intensive industry take advantage of low prices in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and buy surplus CO2 emission permits—not build expensive renewable generation capacity.
                    [post_title] => UK schemes for reducing carbon emissions from electricity
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                    [post_name] => uk-schemes-for-reducing-carbon-emissions-from-electricity
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                    [post_content] => This presentation summarises the current status of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS) implementation, it highlights salient features of draft National Allocation Plans (NAPS) issued so far and puts the case for the EU and Russia reaching a bilateral agreement on a number of linked issues that will result in the Kyoto Protocol coming into force in the near future.
                    [post_title] => EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS)
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                    [post_content] => The electricity transmission systems of Europe are the legacy of decades of investment by monopoly utilities directed by central planners and paid for by regulated tariffs. They were never built to support liberalised electricity markets nor deliver the sheer volume of trans-continental flows of bulk power that arbitrage trading activity has created. As a result, transmission systems have become increasingly congested, especially on cross-border routes. The European Commission, in the form of the Directorate General for Transport and Energy (DG TREN), believe that this has been caused by inadequate investment in new transmission capacity since electricity market liberalisation began . Furthermore, if transmission congestion is not relieved by new investment they fear integration of regional wholesale markets will be prevented, competition inhibited, and system security threatened. This perception has been strongly, but mistakenly, reinforced by the blackouts that occurred in Europe and North America during summer 2003.
                    [post_title] => Electricity Infrastructure & Security of Supply: Should EU Governments Invest in Transmission Capacity?
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                    [post_content] => The provision of reliable electricity supply is vital to economic development in Third World nations. Apart from its important domestic and water pumping applications, electricity is a basic input into post-subsistence economic activity that allows communities to move from primary products into the processing of commodities, production of semi-finished goods and the creation of a manufacturing base. It also increases educational opportunities, improves the quality of life and permits access to information technologies. To the extent that it replaces traditional fuels, electricity improves indoor air quality, in turn leading to improved health and safety. In the long run, reliable electricity supplies connect remote rural communities to the wider manufacturing and service economies of a country.
                    [post_title] => An Economic Evaluation of Small-scale Distributed Electricity Generation Technologies
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                    [post_name] => an-economic-evaluation-of-small-scale-distributed-electricity-generation-technologies
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                    [post_title] => European Electricity Markets Structure and Trading II
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                    [post_title] => Progress with the Energy Policy Review
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                    [post_title] => European Electricity Markets Structure and Trading
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                    [post_content] => The Gas Act 1986 and the Electricity Act 1989 provided legislative authority to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to appoint independent directors general for gas and electricity respectively and so set in motion the creation of the Office of Gas Supply (Ofgas) and Office of Electricity Regulation (Offer). 
                    [post_title] => Why Ofgem?
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                    [post_title] => Electricity Market Liberalisation in Advanced Developing Countries
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                    [post_title] => Political Economy of Electricity Reform: A case study in Gujarat, India
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                    [post_content] => The United Kingdom (UK) has ratified the Kyoto Protocol and in its 2003 Energy White Paper  the current government committed the UK to reducing carbon dioxide emissions some 60% below 1990 levels by 2050 with an aspiration to achieve a reduction of 20% by 2020. Under the European Union (EU) Renewables Directive, the UK is already committed to putting in place the necessary mechanisms to ensure that 10% of national electricity consumption is met from renewable sources by 2010, and 20% by 2020. In addition, the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD) is currently being implemented that imposes very strict limits on pollutants emitted by large power stations. The UK already imposes a Climate Change Levy (CCL) of £4.30 per megawatt hour (MWh)  on industrial electricity consumers to provide them with an early incentive to mitigate carbon emissions and prepare them for the implementation of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EUETS) from 1 January 2005. This will introduce a pan-European carbon dioxide cap-and-trade regime. Both the LCPD and EUETS are expected to impose a gradually increasing cost burden on power stations generating electricity from fossil fuels, especially coal.
                    [post_title] => UK Offshore Wind Generation Capacity: A Return to Picking Winners?
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                    [post_content] => 

Introduction

The recent UK Energy White Paper accepts the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) recommendation that the UK should put itself on a path to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by some 60% from current levels by 2050. However, in so doing it tacitly acknowledges that the existing short-term target to reduce CO2 emissions by 10% below current levels by 2010 will be missed and only a medium-term “aspiration” of a 20% cut from current levels by 2020 is proposed. As the White Paper points out “leaving action until the last minute is not a serious option” but, by its very nature, this longterm policy commitment stretching half a century into the future has made it virtually impossible to commit to any short- and mediumterm action plan. If technological and geopolitical change over the next half century is as rapid as in the last then any decisions made today, for example on capital investment, will have little bearing on the status of any part of the UK energy system by 2050 – including CO2 emissions.

The central importance of electricity

This paper examines what practical steps need to be taken in the short and medium term, within the constraints of currently existing technology and energy demand use patterns in the electricity sector, assuming that the White Paper aspiration of a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 is transformed into a firm commitment. Electricity has been chosen to highlight the policy issues because low carbon generation is a central plank of the policy prescription set out in the White Paper and because it will dominate any policy decisions made on coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables because of their role as major generation fuels. For oil, which plays only a minor role as a generation fuel, the major debate will focus on transport and is therefore outside the scope of this paper. The impact of existing electricity generation technologies on carbon emissions in the UK is clear, as the following extract from the Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2001 (Annex B) illustrates: In 2000, the main sources of carbon dioxide emissions (on an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change basis) were power stations (28 per cent), industry (24 per cent), transport (22 per cent) and the domestic sector (15 per cent).
In 2000, 152 million tonnes of carbon are estimated to have been emitted as carbon dioxide from the UK. Between 1990 and 2000, emissions fell by 7½ per cent, despite a small increase in emissions between 1999 and 2000. This increase was due to the increased levels of coal consumption by power stations to make up for a shortfall during maintenance and repair at gas and nuclear stations. Towards the end of 2000, coal prices were lower than gas prices causing coal-fired generation to be chosen over gas. Carbon dioxide emissions are directly related to the type of fuel used, gas emitting fewer emissions per unit of fuel than coal.
If the White Paper is to be taken seriously, then the 20% reduction aspiration for 2020 must be converted to a hard target. This would immediately impose an eighteen-year time horizon which is too short to allow politicians and business leaders to realistically postpone difficult decisions in the hope that technological innovation will deliver a magic bullet to deal with the issue. Given this constraint, only existing electricity generation technologies that are either already or very nearly commercially viable, coupled with incentives to reduce the rate of electricity demand growth, need to be considered.

Reducing electricity consumption

Growth in electricity demand is driven by economic growth rates and over the period 1990–2000 the amount of electricity consumed in the UK increased at an annually compounded rate of 1.5% and at a faster rate of 2.5% per annum during the economic boom since 1995. The White Paper suggests that energy efficiency can contribute around half of the CO2 emission reductions required by 2020. However, it is very unlikely that commercial and business sectors will be able to make a significant contribution because of the potential impact on competitiveness. In practice, that means the burden of achieving the hoped for efficiency gains are likely to fall mainly on household consumers. In the electricity sector, households account for approximately one third of demand, so they would have to reduce their current demand by some 30% in order to produce an average fall of 10% in electricity demand across the entire economy. This might be technologically achievable if there were, for example, more widespread installation of energy efficient electrical appliances such as low energy light bulbs. However, the willingness of households to invest their own capital to reduce national electricity demand and hence global CO2 emissions is an open question. On an average household electricity bill of £238 per annum, installation of new domestic lighting, heating, and cooking appliances sufficient to deliver a 30% reduction in household electricity consumption would create an annual saving of just £71.40 per annum. The present value of a saving of this magnitude every year, discounted at a typical household mortgage rate of 5% yields a capital sum of £1428. This will not cover the capital cost of implementing a fully comprehensive electricity efficiency programme for an average UK home**. The economic disincentive to invest in electricity efficiency for most households is therefore already significant. Moreover, if electricity prices are static, and discount rates are 10% then the potential discounted electricity cost savings that consumers could make will be only £714 and hence will further reduce the incentive to make significant investment in reducing their electricity demand. Reducing consumer demand growth therefore can only be realistically achieved by either raising the cost of electricity through a significant carbon tax on generation fuels, subsidising investment in energy efficient equipment to promote replacement of the existing capital stock, and/or prohibiting the sale of appliances that fail to reach minimum efficiency standards. Since energy taxes hit the poorest consumers hardest, because they spend a higher proportion of their income on basic services, and they are also the least likely group to have sufficient financial resources to invest in new appliances it seems that subsidisation, rather than taxation will have the least damaging social impact and result in higher take-up rates. Subsidisation of energy efficient equipment and setting of mandatory minimum efficiency standards are confirmed in the White Paper but no commitment is made to extend current home insulation subsidy schemes beyond 2005 let alone introduce new ones aimed specifically at electricity. More worryingly, a 30% increase in efficiency would only be sufficient to offset about half of the demand growth up to 2020, not to produce a real reduction in demand below current levels. A more significant reduction in demand growth might be achievable if efficiency gains could be extended to the service sector of the economy, where demand growth is particularly high, and combined with a one-off public sector investment in energy efficient street lighting. However, this would require a long-term commitment to energy efficiency subsidy schemes up to 2020 and covering the entire economy. Given the inevitable fiscal constraints on every government this seems unlikely. A measure which might be achievable without subsidies, and which would be consistent with a more general household energy efficiency programme would be to reduce the amount of electricity lost as it is transported. Transmission and distribution system losses amount to around 9% of total UK electricity generated and if this could be reduced by half then it would offset a further quarter of the expected growth in consumer demand to 2010. The most obvious way for losses in transmission and distribution to be eliminated is by locating generation plant close to load. In this respect the increasing demand for electricity in the South East of England and generation by coal-fired plant in the Midlands and North of England, creates most of the losses on the high voltage system. Replacement of coal plant by new Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) plant in the South East of would make a significant contribution. Regulated transmission connection charges are already used to act as an incentive to build new power stations in regions where generation capacity is in deficit. However, despite being in place for a decade these incentives have resulted in too little new capacity being built, especially around London, because of planning restrictions, the high cost of land, and the relatively high variable cost of transmitting natural gas compared with electricity. Under the BETTA arrangements locational transmission price signals are to be made stronger, and the regulator (Ofgem) is looking at ways of reducing transmission and distribution losses, but the White Paper contains no new proposals to provide incentives for the optimal location of new power stations in order to minimise losses. Assuming that the necessary incentives could be put in place, it appears that demand growth could only realistically be reduced to a rate of 1% per annum over the period up to 2020. However, there does not seem to be any prospect of eliminating demand growth completely without a long lasting economic downturn or through the imposition of very high levels of carbon taxes whose main effect would be to force the rapid closure of most of the remaining manufacturing and heavy industrial base of the UK. The inevitable social and political consequences that this would entail make itan unlikely scenario. Any meaningful reduction in carbon emissions below current levels must therefore come from changing the mix of generation technology used to produce electricity.

Reducing carbon emissions per unit output

Since natural gas contains less carbon per unit energy than coal, a modern CCGT plant running optimally at full capacity in baseload mode can produce electricity at a 55% delivered thermal efficiency compared with a conventional coal or oil plant operating at 35% efficiency. A modern CCGT plant therefore only produces 40% of the CO2 that a conventional coal-fired power station produces, and 75% of that produced by a conventional oil-fired power station, for the same amount of electricity output. In 2000, UK power plants produced 28%, or 42.5 million MT-C of the total from coal-fired plants running at a delivered efficiency of 34%, oil-fired plants at 25%, and gas-fired plants at 42% (including CCGT and conventional plants running on natural gas). Assuming that all conventional coal-fired, gas-fired, oil-fired, and nuclear power stations were replaced with new CCGT plant by 2020 the overall delivered thermal efficiency would rise to around 55% assuming advances in CCGT efficiency continued. If this were the case CCGT would be producing 97% of the electricity output of the UK, renewables would remain at the current 3% level and carbon dioxide emissions would fall by 24%. However, this reduction could only be gained if demand growth was constrained to zero. If efficiency gains on the demand side already discussed were only able to deliver a 1% compound annual growth rate over eighteen years all but 5% of the entire reduction in CO2 emissions that a switch to 97% CCGT generation output could deliver would be offset by demand growth. If demand growth were to continue at 1.5% then CO2 emissions would entirely displace the reduction delivered by a switch to CCGT and result in a net increase in CO2 emissions of 7% over current levels. Within the constraints of existing technologies it therefore appears that the only way to achieve a 20% reduction in emissions from electricity generation would be to replace all current nuclear plant with renewable energy, replace all conventional fossil fuel generation with CCGT, and constrain demand growth to 1% per annum. In this case, the generation output mix would be 25:75 renewables:CCGT and would deliver a 40% reduction in carbon emissions, under a zero demand growth scenario, and a 22% reduction under a 1% per annum demand growth scenario. It therefore appears that there is a feasible mechanism for achieving a medium-term target reduction of 20% by 2020 although it is an open question whether the UK can ever build sufficient renewable energy capacity to reach a level of 25% of generation output or be able to manage the grid instability that a high level of inherently intermittent renewables penetration would create. Though CHP could in theory take the place of some of the renewable output, it suffers from inherent operational inflexibility, is not commercially viable at low electricity prices, and has had a low rate of take-up in the UK despite being a proven technology. It therefore seems unlikely it will take significant output share without the same level of incentives as are being proposed for renewables and should therefore be viewed as an alternative to renewables rather than an alternative to CCGT. Achieving this outcome will not be easy, and would require significant investment backed up by an outright ban on the use of conventional fossil-fuel power plants after 2015, a massive increase in renewables obligations on electricity suppliers, and/or a punitive carbon tax that makes conventional generation technology so uncompetitive that it is consistently priced out of the market compared with CCGT at all but peak demand levels. Not only that, the tax would have to be sufficiently high to be able to encourage new investment in renewable and CCGT plant and ensure nuclear power remained viable in the medium term while the new capacity was being built. Unfortunately, even an aggressive investment programme aimed at replacing 65% of the existing UK generation capacity stock with renewables and CCGT would not guarantee success unless it was simultaneously implemented with a comprehensive energy efficiency programme aimed at cutting electricity demand growth by at least a third. The White Paper contains no measures capable of achieving either outcome. *John is Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES), with primary responsibility for leading the electricity market research programme, and contactable at john.bower@oxfordenergy.org. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of OIES. ** Since there is relatively little use of electricity for space heating in UK homes, the capital cost of installing double-glazing and comprehensive insulation of cavity walls, roof space and hot water tanks is not included in these estimates. Any incremental investment in home insulation would tend to reduce natural gas and oil demand for space heating and is therefore outside the scope of the discussion in this paper on the electricity sector. [post_title] => A 20:20 Vision for Reducing Carbon Emissions from the UK Electricity Sector [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => a-2020-vision-for-reducing-carbon-emissions-from-the-uk-electricity-sector [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2003-03-01 00:00:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2003-03-01 00:00:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/a-2020-vision-for-reducing-carbon-emissions-from-the-uk-electricity-sector/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [17] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27950 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2003-02-01 00:00:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2003-02-01 00:00:57 [post_content] => [post_title] => Commodity Price Insurance [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => commodity-price-insurance [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-01 15:52:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-01 15:52:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/commodity-price-insurance/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [18] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27954 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2003-01-01 00:00:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2003-01-01 00:00:32 [post_content] => Keynes proposed that a ‘Commod Control’ agency be created after the Second World War to stabilise spot prices of key internationally traded commodities by systematically buying and selling physical buffer stocks. In this paper, the creation of a new Global Commodity Insurer (GCr) is discussed that would operate an international Commodity Price Insurance (CPQ scheme with the objective of protecting national government revenues, spending and investment against the adverse impact of short-term deviations in commodity prices, and especially oil prices, from their long-run equilibrium level. Crude oil is the core commodity in this scheme because energy represents 50% of world commodity exports, and oil price shocks have historically had a sigmjcant macroeconomic impact. In efect the GCI would develop a new international market, which is currently missing, designed to protect governments against the risk of declines in their fiscal revenue, and increases in the level of claims on that income especially fiom social programmes, brought about by short-term commodity price shocks. GCI would take advantage of the rapid growth of trading in derivative securities in the global capital market since the 1980s by selling CPI insurance contracts tailored to the specific commodity price exposure faced by national government, and offsetting the resulting price risk with a portfolio of derivative contracts of five-year or longer maturities, supplied by banks, insurers, reinsurers, investment institutions, and commodify trading companies, with investment grade credit ratings. The difference between the CPI and a buffer stock or export/import control scheme is that it would mitigate the macro-economic shocks posed by commodity price volatility, but not attempt to control commodity prices. The cost of the CPI scheme is estimated by simulating 5-year commodity price paths using a standard log price mean reverting model parumeterisedfrom an econometric analysis of commodity price time series. [post_title] => Commodity Price Insurance: A Keynesian Idea Revisited [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => commodity-price-insurance-a-keynesian-idea-revisited [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-03-01 15:53:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-03-01 15:53:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/commodity-price-insurance-a-keynesian-idea-revisited/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [19] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27959 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2002-09-01 00:00:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2002-08-31 23:00:32 [post_content] => The England & Wales Electricity Pool (‘the Pool’) began trading on 1 April 1990 and was the centrepiece of UK electricity market deregulation and price liberalisation. As one of the first examples of a competitive wholesale electricity market anywhere in the world’ it was copied, almost in entirety in some cases, by a number of other countries seeking to reform their electricity industry. [post_title] => Why Did Electricity Prices Fall in England and Wales? Market Mechanism or Market Structure? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => why-did-electricity-prices-fall-in-england-and-wales-market-mechanism-or-market-structure [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-29 13:57:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-29 13:57:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/why-did-electricity-prices-fall-in-england-and-wales-market-mechanism-or-market-structure/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [20] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27960 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2002-09-01 00:00:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2002-08-31 23:00:30 [post_content] => [post_title] => Key Issues in Global Electricity [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => key-issues-in-global-electricity [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-29 13:57:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-29 13:57:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/key-issues-in-global-electricity/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [21] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27966 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2002-07-01 00:00:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2002-06-30 23:00:07 [post_content] => The Single European Act (EU, 1988) established the general principle of a single European ‘internal market’, rather than many separate national markets, for goods and services in the European Union (EU). The European Commission (EC) working document on the Internal Energy Market (EC, 1988) was published as a direct result, and led to a range of legislation being adopted throughout the 1990s that explicitly aimed to fully integrate the separate European national electricity markets, with the aim of increasing competition in the European electricity industry, and hence reduce prices being paid by consumers. The Price Transparency Directive (EU, 1990a) sought to promote competition by improving the transparency of electricity (and gas) prices charged to industrial consumers. The Electricity Transit Directive (EU, 1990b) and the Gas Transit Directive (EU, 1991) aimed to remove obstacles to cross-border exchange of electricity (and gas) by asking member states to facilitate transit through transmission grids, though it did not compel them to do so. [post_title] => Seeking the Single European Electricity Market: Evidence from an Empirical Analysis of Wholesale Market Prices [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => seeking-the-single-european-electricity-market-evidence-from-an-empirical-analysis-of-wholesale-market-prices [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-02-29 13:57:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-02-29 13:57:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.oxfordenergy.org/wpcms/publications/seeking-the-single-european-electricity-market-evidence-from-an-empirical-analysis-of-wholesale-market-prices/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => publications [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 22 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 27418 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2014-05-06 12:27:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-05-06 11:27:33 [post_content] => This comment analyses the political economy aspects of the electricity market reform that has been proposed by recent changes to the Constitution in Mexico. It identifies the main political and economic barriers that could potentially prevent the reform from progressing. Although privatization is not being considered, Mexico is following closely the same deregulation-commercialization path to electricity market reform as has been implemented since the early 1990 in many developed countries. The danger is that the potential gains for the Mexican economy from electricity market deregulation will be delayed for many years if the reforms become trapped in a political impasse over electricity subsidies and commercializing Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE). We propose an alternative route that takes into account the economic, political and social realities of Mexico, recognizing that our proposal is a 'second best' alternative, but one that increases the chances of success as compared to trying and ultimately failing to implement the 'first best' standard solution. 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