Legal Constraints and Economic Principles
The setting of tariffs for the use of electricity networks is associated with the liberalisation process of the energy sector. As infrastructures which are too costly to duplicate, transportation networks are natural monopolies. To do their business, producers, traders and industrial consumers have to use the same networks. The conditions for their access, especially the setting and publication of charges, are therefore a crucial factor for a successful opening up of the electricity sector to competition. Let us imagine, for instance, the anti-competitive effects raised by a vertically integrated incumbent who could deny access to its network to new entrants in setting a dissuasive price of transmission or in arguing false technical problems. The obligations and conditions for access to the network are set by statutes, refined by soft law, developed by jurisprudence and enforced by public authorities. In other words, the legal framework provides guidance to the setting of access charges. It prescribes general principles operators have to follow, categories of costs they have to include, methodology of calculation, etc. As a result, the tariff for the use of electricity networks is not only an economic topic; it is a matter of law and economics. This is why the first chapter of this book deals with both the legal aspects and the economic principles related to access charges. It is divided into two parts.
KeywordsElectricity Network Economic Principle Transmission Operator Uniform Price Marginal Cost Price
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