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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Electricity Restructuring: Securing Clean Power

Briefing by Erin Down, Greg Hoover, Al Howatson, Gilles Rheaume

Securing Clean Power is part of the Conference Board of Canada’s Electricity Restructuring series. In this paper, Down et.al. ask whether liberalized electricity markets inevitably lead to poorer environmental performance. To answer this question, they examine the impact of electricity restructuring on the environment, as well as the implications of restructuring for environmental policy in the United States, Great Britain and Canada.

This paper argues that the effects of restructuring on the environment arise, in large measure, from the impact that market liberalization has on the choice of electricity-generating technology. In particular, the authors suggest that demand for electricity and the price of natural gas will be critical in determining the growth of supply which comes from gas-fired units, and therefore, the location and volume of greenhouse gas emissions. Another important consideration they argue: the design and stringency in environmental rules will take on new importance after restructuring, given that companies will be limited in their ability to recover the costs of complying with such rules.

To conclude, Down et.al. contend that in order to ensure economic and environmental objectives can be met, with the least cost, it is imperative that both market restructuring and environmental policy are carefully designed. The authors point out that increased competition in the energy market will not necessarily lead to improved environmental quality, especially air quality, and that supplemental controls may be required. They also suggest, however, that the benefits of restructuring may significantly outweigh the costs of any additional measures required.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Erin Down; Greg Hoover; Al Howatson; Gilles Rheaume;
Publisher: Conference Board of Canada [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2003; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: No Research Focus: International;
Registration Required: Yes Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Renewable Energy
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Air
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Alternative Fuels
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Environmental Law & Regulation
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Energy
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Oil & Gas
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Air / 2003
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Alternative Fuels / 2003
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Environmental Law & Regulation / 2003
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate / Renewable Energy / 2003
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Energy / 2003
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Oil & Gas / 2003
Policy Articles / Environment & Climate
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral


Keywords / Tags:

electricity restructuring; liberalized markets; environmental performance; air quality; natural gas; greenhouse gas emissions;