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
List of Tables List of Abbreviations The Authors Foreword Acknowledgements 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 Index