Merit and problems of the pioneer companies of electricity: Arteta, 1893/98-1961


  • Joseán Garrués Irurzun Universidad de Granada



Historia empresarial, Industrialización, Empresas Eléctricas, Mercados Eléctricos


This paper’s objective is to take a more in-depth look at, and encourage debate on, the mechanism that were in force in the birth, growth and crisis of traditional electrical systems. The merit of Arteta, as with other SMEs in the electrical sector, resided in its ability to provide, almost from the outset (1896), the benefits of hydroelectricity. This supply was aimed at towns that and been ignored by the larger Spanish providers due to their not being sufficiently industrialized or urbanized (as was the case of Pamplona). When these firms agreed to integrate the peripheral electrical systems in the mid-20th century, they inherited a series of consumer markets which, though mature, were poorly attended to in terms of the quantity and quality of the service provided. In this sense, the history of Arteta shows the many production drawbacks this type of electrical company had to face in order to satisfy a growing demand. Something that was particularly true when, in a scenario of competitive or cartelized markets, they adopted merely defensive strategies to avoid being ousted from the market