The Political Economy of Power Sector Reform: The by David G. Victor, Thomas C. Heller

By David G. Victor, Thomas C. Heller

During the last fifteen years the world's greatest constructing international locations have initiated marketplace reform of their electrical strength sectors from new release to distribution. This e-book evaluates the reports of 5 of these nations - Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa - as they've got shifted from state-dominated platforms to schemes bearing in mind a bigger inner most area function. in addition to having the biggest strength structures of their areas and one of the so much swiftly emerging intake of electrical energy on the earth, those international locations are the locus of huge monetary funding and the consequences in their strength structures are more and more felt in global gas markets. This available quantity explains the origins of those reform efforts and provides a concept as to why - regardless of diversified backgrounds - reform efforts in all 5 international locations have stalled in related methods. The authors additionally provide sensible recommendation to enhance reform regulations.

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Privatization of these jewel assets was made politically attractive to the states when coupled with loans that allowed their governments to finance projects that generated jobs and other political benefits. The finance authorities were singular in their goal of raising the maximum amount of hard currency and did not have any strategy for the industry after privatization. Indeed, ad-hoc regulations were adopted to inflate the value of the assets at the time of privatization; the rules were settled in a different way once private investors had committed to the market.

Initially, the host needs private investors and thus offers attractive terms. Once operational, the investors require a long amortization period to attain their expected return while the host has already secured what it needs. The original bargain has become obsolete. Theory predicts that the host will force a change in terms – either by outright nationalization or by squeezing revenue streams as far as possible – unless factors such as fear of a poor reputation create an incentive for discipline.

The differences are particularly striking where installed power systems are dominated by coal or especially hydro, which are systems that require enormous capital investment but cost little to run. Yet natural gas fired plants, which all five countries in our sample are trying to attract, are marked by lower capital costs and higher operating costs – attributes that are particularly attractive to private investors who are keen to invest in assets that entail a lower immovable investment that can be recovered quickly.

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