From the Market to the State: New Lessons from Regional Experiences with Power Sector Reform

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Revisiting Electricity Market Reforms: Lessons for ASEAN and East Asia


Developing economies and emerging markets worldwide are set to expe-rience a significant increase in their electricity system financing needs as their elec-tricity demand expands alongside their ambitions for increased regional electricity trade-all of which is underpinned by an ongoing process of power sector reform. However, in this context, they face the dual challenge of decarbonising their elec-tricity systems and ensuring the security of supply to their economies. This chapter revisits the status of power sector reforms in non-OECD Asia and Latin America. It draws new policy lessons from recent experiences, focusing on the re-emerging role of the state in electricity provision, highlighting how government involvement in the sector continues despite the pursuit of wholesale electricity market restructuring and liberalisation, which has thus far failed to meet the financing and investment needs of the electricity sector. Electricity market reforms can involve private and public sector financing using approaches based on ‘competition in the market’ and ‘competition for the market’. We argue that underdeveloped institutional capacity and a lack of effective governance remain impediments to any reform process, requiring effec-tive regulation and an institutional framework that evolves alongside the pursuit of market-oriented reforms in the era of climate change.

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