May 10, 2021

Sugimoto’s Paper Offers Causal Evidence of the Effect of Ownership vs. Legal Unbundling of Energy Transmission Networks

In a paper published in the July 2021 issue of Energy Economics, Postdoctoral Fellow Kota Sugimoto examines whether ownership unbundling offers clear advantages over the legal unbundling of vertically integrated transmission networks in promoting renewable energy investment.

In a quasi-experiment, Sugimoto constructed panel data of photovoltaic, onshore wind, and biomass power plant capacity installed from 2008 to 2015 in Germany—where two transmission network operators underwent ownership unbundling and two other firms were legally unbundled through the EU’s Independent Transmission Operator model.

Comparing power capacity increases in various municipalities, he found that there was almost no gap in renewable energy investment between the two approaches, although legal unbundling requires stronger regulations to ensure the prevention of anti-competitive practices against new market entrants.

Energy Economics is a leading peer-reviewed academic journal for energy economics and energy finance. Major themes include the economic and econometric modelling and analysis of energy issues and systems.

“Ownership versus Legal Unbundling of Electricity Transmission Network: Evidence from Renewable Energy Investment in Germany,” Energy Economics

Profile of Postdoctoral Fellow Kota Sugimoto