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Reference Number RES-338-27-0002
Title Towards a new theory of economic regulation to include environmental concerns
Status Completed
OTHER CROSS-CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES or RESEARCH(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 25%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Economics and Econometrics) 75%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Politics and International Studies) 25%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 100%
Principal Investigator Prof CH (Catherine ) Mitchell
No email address given
University of Exeter
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 01 April 2004
End Date 31 July 2006
Duration 28 months
Total Grant Value £116,614
Industrial Sectors No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Region South West
Programme ESRC Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Prof CH (Catherine ) Mitchell , Geography, University of Exeter (100.000%)
Web Site
Objectives Objectives not supplied
Abstract Non-Technical Summary The aim of this fellowship is to explore the relationship between economic regulation, markets and the development of renewable energy technologies. The applicant argues that five central factors underpins the current energy environment which supports the dominant and cheapest technologies and where innovation is stifled: - the move to privatisation within electricity markets; - the establishment of economic regulation with competition as a key objective of those markets;- firms and network operators acting as rational economic agents within that regulation; and - the large (electricity) technical system sustained by on-going technical economies and the institutional environment derived from economic regulation A good literature exists with respect to innovation andpolicy design. Markets and framework conditions such as economic regulation and legislation are all central to innovation, new technology development and system change. Moreover, UK policy is thatif market rules lead to difficulties or conflicts for other Government objectives, then those difficulties (or market failures) should be corrected by measures which are external to the primary market.The UK therefore has policies in place which strongly support competition and markets and which are likely to sustain dominant technologies This fellowship will explore the implication of this for innovation and new technology development, taking the development of renewable energy technologiesand achieving a sustainable energy policy as a case study. Recent work has provided a good understandingofthe required design and operation of markets and networks to complement a sustainable energy future. Market rules and incentives would need to promote sophisticated operational and infrastructure outcomes. These required outcomes tend not to be least cost. The question is whether economic regulation and competitive markets, as they are currently established, will be capable of deliveringtheseoutcomes and, if not, what policy should be followed. The goal of the fellowship is to write a book which takes forward the current debate on privatisation, economic regulation of markets and networks (eg Newbery, 1999; DTI, 2003; and Helm, 2003) to include a detailed analysis of the extent to which the market and network needs of a safe, secure and sustainable energy system can be met; the implications of this for current policy; and solutions to it. This analysis will be undertaken from literature; from widespread interviews with involved actors (generators, system operators, network operators, Government, Regulators, academics and wider energy) in the UK, Denmark and Spain. The fellowship will enable the applicant to synthesis her work of the last thirteen years and build on it, disseminating it widely
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 02/11/09