Craig Warhurst

Many selling power assets see no benefit: research

MOVES to sell off state-owned electricity networks are at odds with most developed nations and states that do sell the assets see little benefit, a new research paper claims.

The McKell Institute paper, commissioned by the Electrical Trades Union, found only 18% of OECD nations had sold off their power networks.

It also found those not government-owned were mostly owned by non-profit entities or consumers.

The research paper also reported few economic benefits for countries that sold off networks compared to those that did not.

ETU national secretary Allen Hicks said the research found while ownership structure varied, the "overwhelming trend" was for most networks to be full or majority public-owned.

"In fact, other alternatives such as consumer- or local government-owned networks, mostly run as non-profit entities, are actually more common than fully privatised entities in the hands of private investors," he said.