Tooraj Jamasb

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                    [post_content] => The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) or ‘standard’ model of electricity sector reforms has been widely adopted in non-OECD Asian countries since the 1990s. However, despite two decades of attempts at reforms, no notable progress has been made towards the original objectives of reform. Whilst in OECD countries, reforms were implemented against excess capacity and stable institutions, in developing non-OECD Asian countries they were implemented against chronic electricity shortages, fiscal constraints, weak institutions, and complex political factors. In recent years, debate has also focused on the suitability of electricity market reforms originally designed around fossil fuels in delivering low-carbon electricity systems. With electricity demand set to double over the next two decades, reforms in non-OECD Asian countries have important economic as well as environmental implications in terms of global energy use and emissions. This chapter assesses the application of the OECD model of electricity reform in Asia. It analyses the experience of three South Asian countries—India, Nepal, and Bhutan—to illustrate the economic and environmental conflicts in electricity market reform in the context of cross-border regional electricity trade.

Sen, A., Nepal, R., and Jamasb, T. (2016). Rethinking Electricity Sector Reform in Developing Asia: Balancing Economic and Environmental Objectives, School of Economics Discussion Paper No. 572, University of Queensland.
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                    [post_content] => After more than two decades of attempts at electricity sector reform, there is a strong case for assessing empirical evidence on its outcomes, particularly for developing countries. Electricity reform programmes, implemented through the ‘standard’ or ‘textbook’ model, have their foundations in standard microeconomic theory and are based on the rationale that restructuring towards greater competition can lead to higher efficiency, maximise economic welfare, and transfer surplus to consumers. In practice, this has not always been the case, even in the OECD economies which pioneered the standard model. This paper investigates the outcomes of the standard model for developing countries, by applying instrumental variable regression techniques on an original and previously untested panel dataset covering 17 non-OECD developing Asian economies spanning 23 years. In contrast with the theoretical literature, our results show a tension between wider economic impacts and welfare impacts for consumers: namely, the variables that are associated with a positive effect on economic growth appear to be associated with a negative impact on welfare indicators. Our results show that institutional factors have influenced the outcomes, underscoring the point that the uniform application of the standard model without reference to the heterogeneity of the countries is unlikely to have resulted in originally intended outcomes. Our results call for a renewed thinking, or ‘reform’ of electricity reforms.

Executive Summary
                    [post_title] => Reforming Electricity Reforms? Empirical Evidence from Asian Economies
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                    [post_content] => Investment in electricity networks, as regulated natural monopolies, is among the highest regulatory and energy policy priorities. Electricity sector regulators adopt different incentive mechanisms to ensure that the firms undertake sufficient investment to maintain and modernize the grid. Thus, an effective regulatory treatment of investment requires an understanding of the response of companies to the regulatory incentives. This article analyses the determinants of investment in electricity distribution networks using a panel dataset of 129 Norwegian companies observed from 2004 to 2010. A Bayesian model averaging approach is used to provide a robust statistical inference by taking into account the uncertainties around model selection and estimation. The results show that three factors drive nearly all network investments: investment rate in previous period, socioeconomic costs of energy not supplied, and useful life of assets. The results indicate that Norwegian companies have, to some degree, responded to the investment incentives provided by the regulatory framework. However, some of the incentives do not appear to be effective in driving investments.

Poudineh, R. and Jamasb, T. (2016). ‘Determinants of investment under incentive regulation: the case of the Norwegian electricity distribution networks’, Energy Economics, 53, 193–202.
                    [post_title] => Determinants of investment under incentive regulation: the case of the Norwegian electricity distribution networks
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                    [post_content] => This chapter reviews the main challenges facing electricity distribution network utilities along technological, economic, and social dimensions. It also discusses the implications of challenges ahead for network utilities and provides some insights into the likely features of their future business models.

Poudineh, R., Tobiasson, W., and Jamasb, T. (2015). ‘Electricity distribution utilities and the future: more than wires’, in Finger, M. and Jaag, C. (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Network Industries.
                    [post_title] => Electricity distribution utilities and the future: more than wires’
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                    [post_content] => Following the liberalization of the electricity industry since the early 1990s, many sector regulators have adopted incentive regulation aided by benchmarking and productivity analysis. This approach has often resulted in improved efficiency and quality of service. However, there remains a growing concern as to whether the utilities invest sufficiently and efficiently in maintaining and modernizing their networks. This article discusses the relationship between investments and cost efficiency in the context of incentive regulation with ex-post regulatory treatment of investments, using a panel dataset of 129 Norwegian distribution companies from 2004 to 2010. The authors introduce the concept of ‘no-impact efficiency’ as a revenue-neutral efficiency effect of investment under incentive regulation that makes a firm ‘investment efficient’ in cost benchmarking. They also estimate the observed efficiency effect of investments and compare these with the no-impact efficiency. Finally, they discuss the implications of cost benchmarking for the investment behaviour of network companies.

Poudineh, R. and Jamasb, T. (2015). ‘A new perspective: investment and efficiency under incentive regulation’, Energy Journal, 36(4), 241–263.
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                    [post_date] => 2015-02-09 13:58:58
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                    [post_content] => The power sector has a central role in modern economies and other interdependent infrastructures rely heavily upon secure electricity supplies. Due to interdependencies, major electricity supply interruptions result in cascading effects in other sectors of the economy. This paper investigates the economic effects of large power supply disruptions taking such interdependencies into account. We apply a dynamic inoperability input–output model (DIIM) to 101 sectors (including households) of the Scottish economy in 2009 in order to explore direct, indirect, and induced effects of electricity supply interruptions. We then estimate the societal cost of energy not supplied (SCENS) due to interruption, in the presence of interdependency among the sectors. The results show that the most economically affected industries, following an outage, can be different from the most inoperable ones. The results also indicate that SCENS varies with duration of a power cut, ranging from around £4300/MWh for a one-minute outage to around £8100/MWh for a three hour (and higher) interruption. The economic impact of estimates can be used to design policies for contingencies such as roll-out priorities as well as preventive investments in the sector.

Executive Summary
                    [post_title] => Electricity Supply Interruptions - Sectoral Interdependencies and the Cost of Energy Not Served for the Scottish Economy
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Sen, A., Nepal, R., and Jamasb, T. (2016). Rethinking Electricity Sector Reform in Developing Asia: Balancing Economic and Environmental Objectives, School of Economics Discussion Paper No. 572, University of Queensland.
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Latest Publications by Tooraj Jamasb