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Modeling Cournot Competition in an Electricity Market with Transmission Constraints


  • Bert Willems


This paper studies Cournot competition with two generators who share one transmission line with a limited capacityto supply price-taking consumers. In such a game the network operator needs a rule to allocate transmission capacity. Three rules are studied: all-or-nothing, proportional, and efficient rationing. The first result is that if the network operator taxes the whole congestion rent, the generators strategically change their production quantities, such that the network operator obtains no congestion rent. This gives poor incentives for investment in transmission capacity. The second result is that the network operator can create competition among the generators, which can increase welfare. Marginal nodal congestion pricing, which is optimal under perfect competition, is sub-optimal when generators can set their production quantities freely. It does not generate revenue for the network operator, nor does it increase competition among the generators.

Suggested Citation

  • Bert Willems, 2002. "Modeling Cournot Competition in an Electricity Market with Transmission Constraints," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 95-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2002v23-03-a05

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Helman, Udi, 2006. "Market power monitoring and mitigation in the US wholesale power markets," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 877-904.
    2. van Koten, Silvester & Ortmann, Andreas, 2013. "Structural versus behavioral remedies in the deregulation of electricity markets: An experimental investigation motivated by policy concerns," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 256-265.
    3. Holmberg, Pär & Philpott, Andrew, 2012. "Supply Function Equilibria in Networks with Transport Constraints," Working Paper Series 945, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 10 Aug 2015.
    4. Robert Wilson, 2008. "Supply Function Equilibrium in a Constrained Transmission System," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 56(2), pages 369-382, April.
    5. Alexander Zerrahn & Daniel Huppmann, 2014. "Network Expansion to Mitigate Market Power: How Increased Integration Fosters Welfare," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1380, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Willems, Bert & Rumiantseva, Ina & Weigt, Hannes, 2009. "Cournot versus Supply Functions: What does the data tell us?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 38-47, January.
    7. Guido Pepermans & Bert Willems, 2005. "The potential impact of cross-ownership in transmission: An application to the Belgian electricity market," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0501, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
    8. Pär Holmberg & Andy Philpott, 2014. "Supply function equilibria in transportation networks," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1421, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    9. repec:kap:netspa:v:17:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11067-017-9338-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Léautier, Thomas-Olivier, 2014. "Transmission constraints and strategic underinvestment in electric power generation," IDEI Working Papers 816, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    11. Creti, Anna & Fumagalli, Eileen & Fumagalli, Elena, 2010. "Integration of electricity markets in Europe: Relevant issues for Italy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6966-6976, November.
    12. Pär Holmberg and Ewa Lazarczyk, 2015. "Comparison of congestion management techniques: Nodal, zonal and discriminatory pricing," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    13. Li, Gong & Shi, Jing & Qu, Xiuli, 2011. "Modeling methods for GenCo bidding strategy optimization in the liberalized electricity spot market–A state-of-the-art review," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 4686-4700.
    14. Guido Pepermans & Bert Willems, 2004. "Ramsey Pricing in a Congested Network with Market Power in Generation: A Numerical Illustration for Belgium," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0408, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
    15. Nicholas Ryan, 2017. "The Competitive Effects of Transmission Infrastructure in the Indian Electricity Market," NBER Working Papers 23106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Giabardo, Paolo & Zugno, Marco & Pinson, Pierre & Madsen, Henrik, 2010. "Feedback, competition and stochasticity in a day ahead electricity market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 292-301, March.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General


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