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Computational modelling of price formation in the electricity pool of England and Wales

  • Bunn, Derek W.
  • Day, Christopher J.
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    This paper develops a detailed computational model of price formation in the England and Wales electricity pool, as it operated for 11 years from 1990 to 2001. It is clear that during this period, the repeated nature of the daily auction, between a small number of generators, with a substantial amount of information in common, gave rise to a continuous evolution of learning and gaming in practice with no evidence of convergence to a stationary Nash solution. In terms of representing reality, a computational approach inspired by evolutionary economics, can succeed in reflecting well the type of behaviour observed, to an extent that cannot be matched by alternative analytical models. Cycles of pricing appear in the model, apparently as they seem to do in practice, yet average behaviour has been validated against the theoretical supply function results for the more stylised circumstances where analytical results are possible. The paper therefore makes a methodological contribution in the development of a model of competitive electricity markets inspired by computational learning and gaming. It also makes an applied contribution by providing a more realistic basis for identifying whether high market prices can be ascribed to problems of market structure or market conduct.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 363-376

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:33:y:2009:i:2:p:363-376
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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    1. Von der Fehr, N.H.M. & Harbord, D., 1992. "Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry," Memorandum 09/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Green, Richard J, 1996. "Increasing Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 205-16, June.
    3. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, June.
    4. Green, Richard, 1999. "The Electricity Contract Market in England and Wales," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 107-24, March.
    5. Aleksandr Rudkevich & Max Duckworth & Richard Rosen, 1998. "Modeling Electricity Pricing in a Deregulated Generation Industry: The Potential for Oligopoly Pricing in a Poolco," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 19-48.
    6. Borenstein, Severin, 1999. "Understanding Competitive Pricing and Market Power in Wholesale Electricity Markets," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt00p2p3wv, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    7. Day, Christopher J & Bunn, Derek W, 2001. "Divestiture of Generation Assets in the Electricity Pool of England and Wales: A Computational Approach to Analyzing Market Power," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 123-41, March.
    8. Green, Richard J & Newbery, David M, 1992. "Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 929-53, October.
    9. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1991. "Comments on the Interpretation of Game Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 909-24, July.
    10. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1999. "Measuring Duopoly Power in the British Electricity Spot Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 805-826, September.
    11. 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.
    12. Allaz Blaise & Vila Jean-Luc, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, February.
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