Global Experience of Retail Competition in Power Supply and Implications for India
A recent paper 'Retail Competition in Power Distribution' in The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) explore the evolution and experience of retail competition in the supply of electricity globally and the implications for India of introducing it at this juncture. The electricity supply industry emerged towards the end of the nineteenth century. Electricity needed a network of wires for supply to consumers. As it could not be stored, generation had to match demand at every moment all the time for stability of the supply network, the grid. Being capital intensive, the industry evolved and spread through local area monopolies. To prevent profiteering and to safeguard consumer interest from private monopoly power, the industry was considered a public utility and made subject to regulation. Public ownership of the industry became the other option for providing reliable supply at reasonable costs.