The British Electricity Experiment: Privatization: The Record, the Issues, the Lessons

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In 1990, energy in the UK underwent a unique and fundamental transformation, with the privatization of the electricity supply industry. This is the first book to fully assess the experiment. It first explains how – and why – the British electricity supply industry was privatized. It then identifies the subsequent changes in electricity prices, profits, employment, investment, nuclear power and renewable, and the extent to which each of these was due solely to privatization or to other factors, or could have come about by reform of the previous model, rather than privatization. Finally, the authors analyse the key unresolved issues of regulation, introducing competition into the domestic energy market in 1998, supply security, and other long-term strategic considerations.

Throughout, the distinguish between the uniquely British elements of the experience and those which can be drawn upon by other countries embarking upon similar reforms. Today, governments throughout the world are looking to the UK's experience as a potential prototype for the restructure of their own electricity supply industries. For them, and for electricity utilities, fuel and power plant suppliers, regulation authorities, financial analysts, international agencies, journalists and academics alike, this thorough and pragmatic study will be essential reading.

'This is likely to become the definitive book on the first six years of the great British electricity experiment' Walt Patterson The British Electricity Experiment is the result of a detailed study undertaken by the Energy Programme at the science Policy Research unit (SPRU). Professor John Surrey was head of SPR's Energy Programme between 1969 and 1986. He has worked with the central Electricity Generating Board, as a government Economic Adviser, and as a Specialist Adviser to numerous House of Commons Select Committee inquiries on energy matters. Originally published in 1996

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Editorial Reviews

Environmental Politics
This is an excellent book, and stands as an authoritative and balanced account of the history, the issues and the lessons of this British experiment.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853833700
  • Publisher: Earthscan
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Pages: 329

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
The Authors
1. Introduction
John Surrey
2. UK Electricity Supply under Public Ownership
John Chesshire
3. The Privatization of the Electricity Supply Industry
Steve Thomas
4. The Development of Competition
Steve Thomas
5. Regulation
Gordon MacKerron and Isabel Boira-Segarra
6. Effects on Demands for Fossil Fuels
Mike Parker
7. Nuclear Power Under Review
Gordon MacKerron
8. Renewable Generation - Success Story?
Catherine Mitchell
9. The Winners and Losers so far
Gordon MacKerron and Jim Watson
10. Competition: the Continuing Issues
Mike Parker
11. Unresolved Issues of Economic Regulation
John Surrey
12. Strategic Government and Corporate Issues
Steve Thomas
13. General Conclusions and Lessons
Mike Parker
Notes and References

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