Working paper

Providing efficient network access to green power generators: A long-term property rights perspective

This paper analyses the dynamic efficiency of several types of access regulation of a bottleneck transmission line in electricity markets.

Publishing date
02 November 2016

Coordinating the timing and location of new production facilities is one of the challenges of liberalized power sectors. It is complicated by the presence of transmission bottlenecks, oligopolistic competition, and the unknown prospects of low-carbon technologies.

The authors build a model encompassing a late and early investment stage, a clean (green) and dirty (brown) technologies, and a single transmission bottleneck and compare dynamic efficiency of several market designs.

Allocating network access on a short-term competitive basis distorts investment decisions as brown firms will pre-empt green competitors by investing early. Compensating early investors for future network congestion, as for instance in the E.U., only exacerbates this problem.

Dynamic efficiency is restored with long-term transmission rights that can be traded on a secondary market (iusvendendi). As early investment lowers the resale value of the transmission rights, brown firms will invest optimally.

The authors show that dynamic efficiency does not require the existence of physical rights for accessing the transmission line (ius utendi), but financial rights on receiving the scarcity revenues generated by the transmission line (ius fructendi) suffice.

About the authors

  • Georgios Petropoulos

    Georgios Petropoulos joined Bruegel as a visiting fellow in November 2015, and he has been a resident fellow since April 2016. Since March 2022, he has been a non-resident fellow. Since March 2019, he is a Marie Curie Skłodowska Research Fellow at MIT and Bruegel and post-doctoral fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Georgios’ research focuses on the implications of digital technologies on innovation, competition policy and labour markets. He is currently studying how we should regulate digital platforms, what the relationship between big data and market competition is as well as how the adoption of robots and information technologies affect labour markets and firms’ market returns. He holds a bachelors degree in Physics, master’s degrees in mathematical economics and econometrics and a PhD degree in Economics. He has also studied Astrophysics at a Master's level.

  • Bert Willems

    Bert Willems is associate professor of economics at Tilburg University. His main research interests include industrial organisation, market design, competition policy and game theory, with a particular focus on energy markets.

    Bert is vice-president of the Benelux Association for Energy Economics (BAEE) and senior member of the Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC). Before joining Tilburg University, he held research positions at the Florence School of Regulation and the University of California Energy Institute. He has a PhD in Economics and a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, both from KU Leuven.

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