Call for Papers for a Special Issue in Energy Journal

Special issue on Competition in the Electricity Sector
Guest Editor: Professor Shunsuke Managi, Kyushu University, Japan

Overview of the Special Issue

Until the last two decades or so, the electricity sector of many countries was vertically integrated and predominantly state-owned. Vertically integrated companies oversaw the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity to final consumers. However, more recently, the electricity sectors in a number of countries are undergoing a process of transformative structural change, in an effort to overcome inefficiencies identified within vertically integrated structures. To address the complex economic and engineering (infrastructure) challenges inherent in promoting competition in the electricity sector, various measures have been tested. These have included for instance the introduction of wholesale electricity markets (pools), and the unbundling of the traditional vertically integrated monopolies among other things. The increasing utilization of distributed energy resources has also brought both benefits and challenges. The pace and extent of market reforms differ across different geographic regions, due to a combination of path-dependency/system rigidity, as well as differences in institutional and environmental contexts.

Against this backdrop of electricity market transformations occurring worldwide, there is a timely opportunity to question what features characterize the ‘optimal’ pathway-or at least empirical best-practices-through to successful transformation. Evaluating optimal development paths would need to take into consideration the range of impacts of the transformation to key economic and operational performance indices connected to the electricity market, these might include factors relating to security, reliability, economic indicators, system flexibility, and environmental sustainability. To facilitate the successful transformation of electricity markets worldwide, it is crucial also to uncover the competition distortions within electricity markets. Through this it will be possible to better understand how the mechanisms of reform and the deployment of competition policies need to be advanced, which will help to inform the changing role of competition authorities and market regulators in facilitating a sustainable system transformation. Innovative solutions already being implemented in the electricity sector need to be carefully explored, and in light of the scope of this Special Issue, such innovative solutions include, but are not limited to: decentralization (mostly involving utilization of distributed energy resources), inter-regional grid integration, and increasing adoption of information communication systems (such as in smart grids).

This Special Issue in The Energy Journal will cover this promising and dynamic area of research and development, welcoming a wide-range of empirical methodologies and applications as well as theoretical models and insights that contribute to our understandings of ‘Competition in the electricity sector’. Contributions will be selected through a refereeing process consistent with the standard reviewing process of The Energy Journal, to ensure that only original contributions of the highest quality are included.

Toward those goals, the editors seek abstracts that address research questions including, but not limited to:

  • Teoretical and applied contributions on competition-growth nexus in the electricity sector
  • Identifications of the costs and benefits of transformations in the electricity sector under different institutional and environmental contexts
  • Explorations of the impact of innovative solutions (such as the increasing use of distributed energy resources) on the electricity arket
  • Understandings of the mechanism of competition policies in the electricity sector across multiple jurisdictions
  • Uncovering of competition distortions in the electricity sector worldwide
  • Explorations of competition authorities’ role in the electricity sector transformation

Policy implications of the Special Issue

The applied theoretical and analytical contributions are expected to provide guidance to policy-makers and government officials in designing new policy scenarios for the investigation of the role of competition in the electricity sectors. The empirical contributions should provide evidence to support and inform current policy debates. This Special Issue should be of benefit to policy-makers and researchers worldwide, be it rich developed economies where historical distortions survive in the electricity sector, emerging economies with heavily regulated prices where there is a need to design policy options for the transition towards a welfare improving economic structure, or finally more liberalised economies such as the US and the European Union countries. All authors are invited to indicate what are the policy implications of the particular competition issues explored in their paper (within their submitted abstract). We welcome all empirical methodologies and theoretical orientations.

Submission deadline

The project will progress on an expedited timeline, as laid out below. Papers should be roughly 6000 words. Please format and reference your paper according to Energy Journal’s requirements.

Abstract submission

Provide your abstract via email to Professor Shunsuke Managi at by February 15, 2019

Key dates:

  1. February 15th 2019 – Deadline for Submission of Abstracts
  2. February 29th 2019 – Notification of Acceptance of Abstract
  3. June 30th 2019 – Deadline for Submission of Articles
  4. From October 2019 – Publication

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