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Merchant interconnector projects by generators in the EU: Effects on profitability and allocation of capacity

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  • Silvester van Koten

Abstract

When building a cross-border transmission line (a so-called interconnector) as a for-profit (merchant) project, where the regulator has required that capacity allocation be done non-discriminatorily by explicit auction, the identity of the investor can affect the profitability of the interconnector project and, once operational, the resulting allocation of its capacity. Specifically, when the investor is a generator (hereafter the integrated generator) who also can use the interconnector to export its electricity to a distant location, then, once operational, the integrated generator will bid more aggressively in the allocation auctions to increase the auction revenue and thus its profits. As a result, the integrated generator is more likely to win the auction and the capacity is sold for a higher price. This lowers the allocative efficiency of the auction, but it increases the expected ex-ante profitability of the merchant interconnector project. Unaffiliated, independent generators, however, are less likely to win the auction and, in any case, pay a higher price, which dramatically lowers their revenues from exporting electricity over this interconnector.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series RSCAS Working Papers with number 2011/10.

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Date of creation: 25 Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2011/10

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Keywords: electricity markets; regulation; cross-border electricity transmissions; vertical integration; asymmetric auctions; bidding behavior;

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  1. Helm, D., 2003. "Auctions and Energy Networks1," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 21-25, March.
  2. Klemperer, Paul, 1999. " Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 227-86, July.
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  7. Silvester van Koten & Andreas Ortmann, 2007. "The Unbundling Regime for Electricity Utilities in the EU: A Case of Legislative and Regulatory Capture?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp328, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  8. Smith, Vernon L & Walker, James M, 1993. "Monetary Rewards and Decision Cost in Experimental Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(2), pages 245-61, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Silvester Koten, 2013. "Legal unbundling and auctions in vertically integrated (utilities) markets," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 543-573, December.
  2. Lidia Puka & Kacper Szulecki, 2014. "Beyond the "Grid-Lock" in Electricity Interconnectors: The Case of Germany and Poland," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1378, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

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