Law & Economics Perspectives on Electricity Regulation
Abstract: This paper first reviews some of the main contributions of the new institutional economics to the analysis of the process of competitive transformation of network industries. It shows that neoinstitutional analysis is complementary to the microeconomics of rational pricing, since it accounts for the decisive role of an institutional framework adapted to new transactions. It emphasizes the importance of the political reform process, which draws on the conditions of attractiveness and feasibility to define an initial reorganization of property rights in these industries. The paper then analyzes in this light some of the main challenges ahead for electricity regulation: the question of investment in generation capacities and the link to long term contracts, the regulation of wholesale market power, the support to Renewable Energy Sources for Electricity (RES-E) and the design of new regulatory authorities.