Stochastic modeling of financial electricity contracts
We discuss the modeling of electricity contracts traded in many deregulated power markets. These forward/futures type contracts deliver (either physically or financially) electricity over a specified time period, and is frequently referred to as swaps since they in effect represent an exchange of fixed for floating electricity price. We propose to use the Heath-Jarrow-Morton approach to model swap prices since the notion of a spot price is not easily defined in these markets. For general stochastic dynamical models, we connect the spot price, the instantaneous-delivery forward price and the swap price, and analyze two different ways to apply the Heath-Jarrow-Morton approach to swap pricing: Either one specifies a dynamics for the non-existing instantaneous-delivery forwards and derives the implied swap dynamics, or one models directly on the swaps. The former is shown to lead to quite complicated stochastic models for the swap price, even when the forward dynamics is simple. The latter has some theoretical problems due to a no-arbitrage condition that has to be satisfied for swaps with overlapping delivery periods. To overcome this problem, a practical modeling approach is analyzed. The market is supposed only to consist of non-overlapping swaps, and these are modelled directly. A thorough empirical study is performed using data collected from Nord Pool. Our investigations demonstrate that it is possible to state reasonable models for the swap price dynamics which is analytically tractable for risk management and option pricing purposes, however, this is an area of further research.
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