This paper discusses some of the new and continuing ways in which the public sector is involved in the electricity / energy sector around the world. This involvement continues to be significant in spite of the longrunning trend towards privatisation, competition and independent regulation in the energy sector. We discuss why the theoretical case for public ownership might be more attractive now than in the recent past. We then discuss six case studies of modern public ownership drawn from the UK (Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Denmark, New Zealand, Finland and Chile. The investments covered include wind and nuclear power, LNG facilities, electricity and gas distribution investments and energy service companies for combined heat and power. We conclude with some outstanding questions raised by the apparently favourable conditions for increased public involvement in energy.
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