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Liberalisation of Electricity Markets and Coal Use

AUTHOR: Katerina Rousaki, Andrews Bushell, Alessandra McConville
DATE: October 1999

Electricity supply has been regarded for many years as a sector which was best run as a monopoly, and in most cases as a state-owned monopoly. Where private utilities have been allowed, they were tightly regulated. Over the last ten years, this view of electricity markets has changed and in most countries the electricity supply industry has undergone some reform. Restructuring the power sector is a very complex exercise based on national energy strategies and policies, macroeconomic developments and national conditions.

This report focuses on reform in developed economies and economies in transition. It gives an overview of the reforms taking place in the electricity supply industries in a number of coal user countries (Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Poland, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and USA). It describes the trends in electricity sector restructuring including reform structures and models and the drivers behind them. It examines the current and potential effects of liberalisation of the electricity sector on the fuel mix for power generation and in particular on coal use, drawing conclusions from experience so far. The effects are analysed in relation to a number of issues that may affect coal use for electricity generation in liberalised electricity markets.

Review of this publication from International Journal of Coal Geology, Jim Hower, Editor.