Inderscience Publishers

The global energy industry: is competition among suppliers ensured?

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Over the last 15 years, many factors have affected the effective degree of competition in coal, electricity, gas and oil. This paper concentrates on the effects of globalisation, regulatory reform, privatisation and inter-fuel mergers. While demand side globalisation has led to increased competition, greater supply side globalisation might lead to more collusive behaviour in sectors such as coal and electricity. Regulatory reform has helped foster competition in the US gas market and in several electricity markets. Still, regulators have imposed insufficient vertical separation and the regulation of international electricity transmission remains problematic. Privatisation is very useful in enforcing initial changes in industry structure. Inter-fuel mergers might entail efficiency gains but they also raise significant issues for competition policy authorities.

Keywords: coal, competition, electricity, gas, globalisation, mergers, oil, privatisation, regulation

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