Regulatory objectives and the intensity of unbundling in electricity markets
Regulatory objectives and the intensity of unbundling in electricity markets / Henrik Lindemann. Leibniz University of Hannover, School of Economics and Management, January 2015, 53 p. (Discussion Paper No. 544)
Despite the positive effect electricity grids separated from generation and supply by ownership are expected to have on the level of competition in the non-network activities, several EU member states still adhere to a solely legally unbundled transmission grid. This choice might be induced by regulators focusing on objectives other than the promotion of consumer interests: theoretically analyzing the decisions an authority takes on both the unbundling regime and the grid charge when it supervises a network monopolist providing a downstream Cournot duopoly with capacity, we find an agency pursuing consumer-oriented goals to always implement Ownership Unbundling. For a regulator acting in the interests of the industry or the government, though, results suggest the authority to be indifferent between Legal and Ownership Unbundling; minor potential drawbacks of a network separated by ownership for the agency or the companies might then tip the scales and cause the regulator to adhere to Legal Unbundling.