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2020/2021  BA-BHAAV6040U  Sustainability and Business: Energy Markets, Competition, and Regulation

English Title
Sustainability and Business: Energy Markets, Competition, and Regulation

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Germain Gaudin - Department of Economics (ECON)
  • Manuel Llorca - Department of Economics (ECON)
  • Tooraj Jamasb - Department of Economics (ECON)
Main academic disciplines
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 26-10-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The aim of this course is two-folded. First, learn about the explanatory capacity of theory and models of market regulation and competition policy. Second, apply economic analysis to an increasingly sustainable and international energy context. Given the demand for professionals specialised in economics and law in the energy business (consultants, practitioners, regulators, members of national and international competition authorities, etc.), one of the key objectives of this module is to provide the students training in economic aspects on which economic regulation and competition policy are based. The aim is to enable the students to:
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental of regulatory economics
  • Describe the main assumptions of economic models of competition and monopoly
  • Explain the economic substance of specific concepts that are applicable to regulation in energy economics
  • Use economic models to illustrate issues relevant for the regulation of energy markets and networks
  • Select, formulate and discuss examples that reflect such assignments faced by different participants (regulators, practitioners, etc.) in the energy business
  • Understand the current and future trends for a sustainable energy sector
Course prerequisites
Mandatory prerequisites: Working knowledge of Microeconomics.
Interest in the application of Microeconomics to Energy Economics, Regulatory Economics and Industrial Economics.
Sustainability and Business: Energy Markets, Competition, and Regulation:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam on CBS' computers
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 3 hours
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Aids Limited aids, see the list below:
The student is allowed to bring
  • USB key for uploading of notes, books and compendiums in a non-executable format (no applications, application fragments, IT tools etc.)
  • Any calculator
  • In Paper format: Books (including translation dictionaries), compendiums and notes
The student will have access to
  • Access to Canvas
  • Access to the personal drive (S-drive) on CBS´ network
  • Advanced IT application package
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Since the liberalisation of the energy sector (particularly electricity), its constituent parts have received distinct treatments, leading some segments to be opened to competition while others have remained as regulated natural monopolies. This course introduces students to analyse the different parts of the energy sector from an economic perspective. In particular, it makes the students familiar with the models, modelling techniques, results, and applications of economic analysis to market competition and regulation of the energy markets.

The structure of the course is based on two interlinked sections. The first includes a review of some concepts from microeconomics needed for the rest of the course. Then it is followed by an introduction to competition policy and regulatory economics from a theoretical perspective. The topics covered in the first section include the following:

·         Microeconomics: demand, industrial organisation, vertical relations/B2B (retail / wholesale), market power, market failures, economies of scale, externalities, natural monopoly

·         Introduction to economic regulation: theory and principles

·         Optimal pricing, incentive regulation, natural monopoly regulation and dynamic issues

·         Economic regulation of (potentially) competitive markets


The second section of the module follows a practical approach in which the theoretical concepts described in the first section are applied to the energy context. Energy sector is arguably the largest industry in the world. At the same it is a major contributor to air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This section encompasses the following topics:

·         Major energy sources and their uses: fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal), nuclear, renewables; electricity, transport

·         Microeconomics of energy use, energy demand and energy supply

·         Economic analysis of domestic and international energy market structures: competitive, monopoly, oligopoly, cartel

·         Economic regulation of energy markets and utilities

·         Economics of investment in renewable energy sources

·         Economics and political economy of climate change, national policy and international cooperation

This module is endorsed by the Copenhagen School of Energy Infrastructure (CSEI) at CBS and it is embedded in its overall strategy of research and education. CSEI is directly supported by the European Commission (DG Energy). 

Description of the teaching methods
Lectures where students are expected to participate actively, and case-based seminars/lectures.
Feedback during the teaching period
Through oral discussions in class, cases and quizzes
Student workload
Lectures 36 hours
Preparation for lectures 142 hours
Preparations for the exam 25 hours
Exam 3 hours
Expected literature

Bhattacharyya, S.C., Energy Economics: Concepts, issues, markets and governance, 1st ed., Springer, 2011.


Viscusi, W. K., J. E. Harrington Jr., and D. E. M. Sappington, Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, 5th ed., 2018, MIT Press: Cambridge, MA.


Collection of articles and policy reports 

Last updated on 26-10-2020