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Electricity Sector Restructuring and Competition: Lessons Learned

Paul L. Joskow

August 2003

Paul L. Joskow, August 2003

We now have over a decade of experience with the privatization, restructuring, regulatory reform, and wholesale and retail competition in electricity sectors around the world. The objectives and design attributes of these reform programs are reviewed. The improvements in sector performance that have been achieved are discussed. The nature and sources of performance problems are also reviewed. Several lessons learned from this experience are identified and their implications for successful ongoing electricity reform initiatives presented. Electricity sector restructuring, regulatory reform and competition initiatives can yield significant consumer benefits when these reforms are designed and implemented well. Applying the lessons learned from recent experience can yield larger consumer benefits in the future.

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