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Electricity Pricing and Market Power - Evidence from Germany

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  • Janssen, Matthias
  • Wobben, Magnus
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    Abstract

    The aim of this paper is to develop a methodology for measuring the exercise of potential market power in liberalized electricity markets. We therefore investigate producer behavior in the context of electricity pricing with respect to fundamental time-dependent marginal cost (TMC), i.e. CO2- and fuel cost. In doing so, we do not - in contrast to most current approaches to market power investigation - rely on an estimate of the entire generation cost, which inevitably suffers from the lack of appropriate available data. Applying an analytical model of a day-ahead electricity market, we derive work-on rates, which provide information about the impact of TMC variations on electricity prices in the market constellations of perfect competition, quasi-monopoly and monopoly. Comparing these model-based work-on rates with actual work-on rates, estimated by an adjusted first-differences regression model of German power prices on the cost for hard coal, natural gas and emission allowances, we find evidence of the exercise of market power in the period 2006 to 2008. However, our results reveal that German market competitiveness increases marginally. We confirm our results by simulating a TMC-driven diffusion model of futures power prices estimated by maximum-likelihood.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11400.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2008
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11400

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    Keywords: energy; electricity; market power analysis; spot-futuresprice relation;

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    1. Green, R., 2004. "‘Did English Generators Play Cournot? Capacity Withholding in the Electricity Pool’," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0425, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Bert WILLEMS & Ina RUMIANTSEVA & Hannes WEIGT, 2007. "Cournot versus supply functions: what does the data tell us?," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces0720, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
    3. Sijm, J. & Neuhoff, K. & Chen, Y., 2006. "CO2 cost pass through and windfall profits in the power sector," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0639, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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    7. Ciarreta, Aitor & Gutierrez-Hita, Carlos, 2006. "Supply function vs. quantity competition in supergames," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 773-783, July.
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    9. Holmberg, Pär, 2004. "Unique Supply Function Equilibrium with Capacity Constraints," Working Paper Series 2004:20, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    10. Bonacina, Monica & Gulli`, Francesco, 2007. "Electricity pricing under "carbon emissions trading": A dominant firm with competitive fringe model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 4200-4220, August.
    11. Lise, Wietze & Linderhof, Vincent & Kuik, Onno & Kemfert, Claudia & Ostling, Robert & Heinzow, Thomas, 2006. "A game theoretic model of the Northwestern European electricity market--market power and the environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(15), pages 2123-2136, October.
    12. Benth, Fred Espen & Koekebakker, Steen, 2008. "Stochastic modeling of financial electricity contracts," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 1116-1157, May.
    13. Green, Richard & Newbery, David M G, 1991. "Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 557, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Severin Borenstein & James Bushnell & Christopher R. Knittel, 1999. "Market Power in Electricity Markets: Beyond Concentration Measures," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 65-88.
    15. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
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