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The impact of electricity market design upon investment under uncertainty: The effectiveness of capacity mechanisms

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  • de Vries, Laurens
  • Heijnen, Petra
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    Abstract

    This paper presents an analysis of different market designs under uncertainty about the future growth rate of demand. Markets for electricity generation appear to be prone to an investment cycle due to their capital-intensiveness and the long lead time of new generation facilities. We tested the stability of different capacity mechanisms in the presence of uncertainty regarding the demand growth rate with a stochastic dynamic model. Investment decisions were assumed to maximize profit, based on an assumed growth rate of demand that was equal to the rolling average of the previous five years. All capacity mechanisms proved effective in reducing the tendency towards an investment cycle, but to different degrees. Interestingly, an oligopoly that is able to raise average prices by 10% would also be able to substantially reduce price volatility and decrease the risk of shortages by increasing the reserve margin. Benefits of such a strategy for the generating companies could be that it would deter new market entrants and stave off the political attention that shortages and price spikes would bring about. However, the benefits to consumers are compromised by the lack of economic efficiency and distributional effects of an oligopoly, while the stability of such an oligopolistic strategy can be questioned. The most attractive solution is a system of reliability contracts, which can be used to stabilize both investment and prices, while reducing market power and providing more efficient operational incentives to generating companies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Utilities Policy.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 215-227

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:16:y:2008:i:3:p:215-227

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30478

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    1. Karsten Neuhoff, 2005. "Large-Scale Deployment of Renewables for Electricity Generation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 88-110, Spring.
    2. Paul Joskow & Jean Tirole, 2004. "Reliability and Competitive Electricity Markets," Working Papers 0408, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
    3. Ford, Andrew, 2001. "Waiting for the boom: : a simulation study of power plant construction in California," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 847-869, September.
    4. Neuhoff, K. & de Vries, L., 2004. "'Insufficient Incentives for Investment in Electricity Generation’," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0428, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Cramton, Peter & Stoft, Steven, 2008. "Forward reliability markets: Less risk, less market power, more efficiency," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 194-201, September.
    6. Frank A. Wolak & Robert H. Patrick, 2001. "The Impact of Market Rules and Market Structure on the Price Determination Process in the England and Wales Electricity Market," NBER Working Papers 8248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Batlle, Carlos & Pérez-Arriaga, Ignacio J., 2008. "Design criteria for implementing a capacity mechanism in deregulated electricity markets," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 184-193, September.
    8. von der Fehr, N.-H. & Harbord,D., 1998. "Competition in Electricity Spot Markets. Economic Theory and International Experience," Memorandum 05/1998, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    9. Finon, Dominique & Pignon, Virginie, 2008. "Electricity and long-term capacity adequacy: The quest for regulatory mechanism compatible with electricity market," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 143-158, September.
    10. De Vries, Laurens J., 2007. "Generation adequacy: Helping the market do its job," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 20-35, March.
    11. Joskow, Paul L., 2008. "Capacity payments in imperfect electricity markets: Need and design," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 159-170, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Cepeda, Mauricio & Finon, Dominique, 2011. "Generation capacity adequacy in interdependent electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3128-3143, June.
    2. Schröder, Andreas, 2012. "An Electricity Market Model with Generation Capacity Investment under Uncertainty," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62068, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Cepeda, Mauricio & Finon, Dominique, 2013. "How to correct for long-term externalities of large-scale wind power development by a capacity mechanism?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 671-685.
    4. Assili, Mohsen & Javidi D.B., M. Hossein & Ghazi, Reza, 2008. "An improved mechanism for capacity payment based on system dynamics modeling for investment planning in competitive electricity environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 3703-3713, October.
    5. Moreno, Fermín & Martínez-Val, José M., 2011. "Collateral effects of renewable energies deployment in Spain: Impact on thermal power plants performance and management," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6561-6574, October.
    6. Simshauser, Paul, 2010. "Vertical integration, credit ratings and retail price settings in energy-only markets: Navigating the Resource Adequacy problem," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7427-7441, November.
    7. Thure Traber, 2014. "Capacity Mechanisms on Central European Electricity Markets: Effects on Consumers, Producers and Technologies until 2033," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1385, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Finon, Dominique & Cepeda, Mauricio, 2013. "How to correct long-term system externality of large scale windpower development by a capacity mechanism?," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13149, Paris Dauphine University.
    9. John Foster & Liam Wagner, 2014. "International experience with transformations in electricity markets: A Short Literature Review," Energy Economics and Management Group Working Papers 2-2014, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    10. Arango, Santiago & Larsen, Erik, 2011. "Cycles in deregulated electricity markets: Empirical evidence from two decades," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2457-2466, May.

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