ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jan
30

The Gazprom Deal and Georgian Energy Security. What Should Georgia do Next?

Every winter, one of the most actively discussed issues of energy policy - both on TV and in professional circles - is natural gas. Prices and supply conditions are frequently part of the political debate. The main reason behind such active discussion is energy security concerns. What is energy security? The International Energy Agency defines energy security as “the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price.” Obviously, all countries around the world care about energy security, because interruptions in the availability of energ...
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Nov
19

Net Metering in Georgia. Getting Ready for the Next Energy Revolution

"We have this handy fusion reactor called the SUN. You don't have to do anything, it just works, shows up every day, produces ridiculous amounts of power." Elon Musk Introduction of Tesla Energy A few weeks ago Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors and Chairman of SolarCity, among others) presented two new products: solar roof tiles produced by SolarCity, and Tesla’s Powerwall 2, designed to work together to revolutionize the concept of solar PV systems. Energy sector professionals, environmentalists, and renewable energy enthusiasts around the world...
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May
08

No Price Caps in the Electricity Wholesale Market!

This article is about a highly technical matter. To avoid losing all our readers in the very beginning, let us start with a famous doctrine by Montesquieu: Les lois inutiles affaiblissent les lois nécessaires. This principle, literally meaning “useless laws weaken the necessary laws”, should always be kept in mind by lawmakers and politicians. If a regulation is not beneficial, then it is almost surely beneficial to get rid of the regulation. Some great Georgians endorsed this principle, like Kakha Bendukidze, who is widely praised for having erased many...
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Eric Livny
The article raises many factual questions:What is the level of these price caps and how do it compare to the price electricity gen... Read More
Sunday, 08 May 2016 8:08 AM
Florian Biermann
Regarding your first two questions:(1) As we say in the article, the capacity to export is for technical reasons very low. Therefo... Read More
Sunday, 08 May 2016 8:08 AM
Eric Livny
Florian, The (potential) export price could be a good benchmark to assess the extent to which the cap is binding, reasonable, etc.... Read More
Sunday, 08 May 2016 9:09 AM
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Jun
29

Why Armenia Is Not (Yet) Ukraine?

  Yerevan is presently rife with protest. Dubbed “Electric Yerevan,” the protests are aptly named considering that they began as a result of Armenia’s government succumbing to demands by the country’s electricity distribution monopoly (Electric Network of Armenia (ENA)) to raise regulated tariffs by 16.7% as of 1 August, 2015. ENA is owned by Inter RAO UES, a Russian energy giant, giving rise to suggestions that Armenian officials are effectively serving Russian interests. Yet, the hike in electricity prices, which the government had initially resis...
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Guest — David Lee
I think that there is a danger of viewing all political and economic problems in the wider region, let use the Eastern Partnership... Read More
Monday, 29 June 2015 8:08 AM
Guest — Mikayel Badalyan
I would have deleted the word "yet" from the title and here is why:Let's measure the prices in USD!!!In Ukraine the gas price incr... Read More
Monday, 29 June 2015 10:10 AM
Guest — Eric Livny
Thanks, Michael, for your "Armenian insider" viewpoint. Just for me to understand better, you are saying that Armenia's electricit... Read More
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 9:09 AM
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Apr
13

The Complexities Facing the Competition Authority

Economists disagree whether it was a good decision to reestablish the Georgian competition authority. When some years ago it was removed, the underlying logic was that a non-existing authority cannot be corrupt, and, more importantly, cannot harm the economy through misguided decisions. Assuming that corruption will not be a problem for the competition authority, neither now nor in the future, regulating markets is still a highly delicate issue which yields many possibilities to go wrong. WHAT IS THE RELEVANT MARKET? One of the central issues that have t...
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Guest — M
Actually, I had the pleasure of talking to a few people in the competition agency. They have a good understanding of the markets t... Read More
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 11:11 PM
Guest — megiddo02
Hi M, I agree that the sentence sounds somewhat condescending. You may be right that this advice is unnecessary -- I do not know t... Read More
Wednesday, 15 April 2015 3:03 PM
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Feb
28

Access to Electricity: Is Off-the-Grid an Option?

Assuring access to modern energy services for the whole population is a crucial step to improve human well-being and stimulate economic and social development. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has identified the lack of access to modern energy services as one of the main obstacles to overcome in order to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. In its 2011 World Energy Outlook, the IEA argued forcefully about the need to find and mobilize the resources required to extend access to modern energy services to the poor around the world. Transition c...
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Guest — Helene Ryding
Off the grid electricity (whether hydro or solar) has one drawback compared with on the grid electricity: there is no electricity... Read More
Saturday, 01 March 2014 12:12 AM
Guest — Irakli
So, with small subsidy there might a new business opportunity... and not temporary. The main point missing is the discussion of po... Read More
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 8:08 PM
Guest — Helene Ryding
In all my experience implementing change in post-socialist countries, I have never known a Ministry of Energy really take any inte... Read More
Thursday, 06 March 2014 7:07 PM
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