Regulation of Energy Markets: Economic Mechanisms and Policy Evaluation.

AuthorBurnett, J. Wesley

Regulation of Energy Markets: Economic Mechanisms and Policy Evaluation, by Machiel Mulder (Springer International Publishing, 2021), 361 pages, ISBN: 978-3-030-58318-7 (hardback), ISBN 978-3-030-58319-4 (ebook).

This timely and highly readable textbook is a compendium of the author's twenty years of experience in government and higher education as a professor of energy economics. Mulder's text explains the basic economic mechanisms behind energy markets and governmental policies that are designed to improve energy market functions. His book covers almost all facets of the energy industry, including markets for electricity, crude oil, natural gas, coal, hydrogen, and renewables. Moreover, the readers are exposed to different forms of government intervention including the regulation of energy markets; the integration of wholesale markets; environmental regulations; government subsidies; and, energy taxes, among other salient topics.

Mulder's text is primarily aimed at an audience of upper-level undergraduate or graduate students who possess at least a basic understanding of the principles of microeconomic theory. The book's layout consists of systematic analyses of market failures within various energy sectors, including electricity and oil markets, among others. Through the outline of these failures, Mulder discusses the basic underlying economic principles, theory, and government policies.

Although written for an academic audience, Mulder's book is accessible to many different types of readers, including non-economists and policy analysts. To wit, Mulder offers a rich variety of examples, tables, and diagrams, such that most of concepts can be understood by a reader with little or no previous coursework in economics. This accessibility is reflected in the author's stated goal, in which he identifies his skill of creating a ".. .bridge between academic research and practical application in policy making." To this end, the book will likely appeal to any reader who wishes to learn about the economics and regulation of energy systems and markets.

The book consists of twelve complete chapters, with (mostly analytical) exercises at the end of each chapter (and, a complete set of solutions provided in an appendix). The first three chapters offer a broad overview of energy markets and the role energy plays within modern economies; specifics about different sectors within the industry; and, the energy policy landscape. These chapters are written...

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