The Impact of Liberalization and Environmental Policy On Financial Risk-Return Profiles of European Energy Utilities

49 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2014

See all articles by Daniel J. Tulloch

Daniel J. Tulloch

University of Oxford - Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

Ivan Diaz-Rainey

University of Otago - School of Business

I. M. Premachandra

University of Otago - Department of Accountancy and Finance

Date Written: November 23, 2014

Abstract

We examine the impact of liberalization, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and security of supply legislations on the risk-return profiles of European energy utilities over the period 1996 to 2013. Results show that, after controlling for equity market and commodity risk factors, the EU policies which focused on liberalization and environmental objectives have increased return and return volatility of energy utilities. This reflects a fundamental change in these companies’ risk-reward tradeoff. Specifically, liberalization and energy efficiency policies impact financial return and volatility in the short- and long-term. Renewables and security of supply policies provide the largest impacts on long-term volatility and returns, respectively. We highlight a tension between liberalization and environmental objectives. Increased volatility raises the cost of capital for utilities, negatively impacting their ability to raise the estimated €1.3 trillion investment capital needed to transition to a decarbonized ‘smart’ energy system.

Keywords: Liberalization, Environmental Policy, Financial Risk, Financial Return

JEL Classification: G12, G18, G38, L51

Suggested Citation

Tulloch, Daniel James and Diaz-Rainey, Ivan and Premachandra, I. M., The Impact of Liberalization and Environmental Policy On Financial Risk-Return Profiles of European Energy Utilities (November 23, 2014). USAEE Working Paper No. 14-183. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2529794 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2529794

Daniel James Tulloch

University of Oxford - Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment ( email )

United Kingdom
1865614934 (Phone)

Ivan Diaz-Rainey (Contact Author)

University of Otago - School of Business ( email )

Dunedin
New Zealand

I. M. Premachandra

University of Otago - Department of Accountancy and Finance ( email )

PO Box 56
Dunedin, 9054
New Zealand

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