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The Competitive Effects of Transmission Infrastructure in the Indian Electricity Market

Nicholas Ryan

NBER Working Paper No. 23106
Issued in January 2017
NBER Program(s):Development Economics, Environment and Energy Economics

India, seeking to reduce electricity shortages, set up a new power market, in which transmission constraints sharply limit trade between regions. I use confidential bidding data to estimate the costs of power supply and simulate market outcomes with more transmission capacity. I find that the returns to building transmission hinge on market conduct. Under a competitive model of supply, transmission investments roughly breakeven. Under a strategic model, the same transmission expansion increases market surplus by 19 percent, enough to justify the investment, because low-cost sellers increase supply in response to a more integrated grid.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23106

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