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Electricity-market price and nuclear power plant shutdown: Evidence from California

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Listed:
  • Woo, C.K.
  • Ho, T.
  • Zarnikau, J.
  • Olson, A.
  • Jones, R.
  • Chait, M.
  • Horowitz, I.
  • Wang, J.

Abstract

Japan׳s Fukushima nuclear disaster, triggered by the March 11, 2011 earthquake, has led to calls for shutting down existing nuclear plants. To maintain resource adequacy for a grid׳s reliable operation, one option is to expand conventional generation, whose marginal unit is typically fueled by natural-gas. Two timely and relevant questions thus arise for a deregulated wholesale electricity market: (1) what is the likely price increase due to a nuclear plant shutdown? and (2) what can be done to mitigate the price increase? To answer these questions, we perform a regression analysis of a large sample of hourly real-time electricity-market price data from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) for the 33-month sample period of April 2010–December 2012. Our analysis indicates that the 2013 shutdown of the state׳s San Onofre plant raised the CAISO real-time hourly market prices by $6/MWH to $9/MWH, and that the price increases could have been offset by a combination of demand reduction, increasing solar generation, and increasing wind generation.

Suggested Citation

  • Woo, C.K. & Ho, T. & Zarnikau, J. & Olson, A. & Jones, R. & Chait, M. & Horowitz, I. & Wang, J., 2014. "Electricity-market price and nuclear power plant shutdown: Evidence from California," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 234-244.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:73:y:2014:i:c:p:234-244
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2014.05.027
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Brian Rivard and Adonis Yatchew, 2016. "Integration of Renewables into the Ontario Electricity System," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Bollino-M).
    2. repec:eee:appene:v:204:y:2017:i:c:p:531-543 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:rensus:v:79:y:2017:i:c:p:646-655 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:enepol:v:110:y:2017:i:c:p:9-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Woo, C.K. & Moore, J. & Schneiderman, B. & Ho, T. & Olson, A. & Alagappan, L. & Chawla, K. & Toyama, N. & Zarnikau, J., 2016. "Merit-order effects of renewable energy and price divergence in California’s day-ahead and real-time electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 299-312.
    6. Chi-Keung Woo, Ira Horowitz, Jay Zarnikau, Jack Moore, Brendan Schneiderman, Tony Ho, and Eric Leung, 2016. "What Moves the Ex Post Variable Profit of Natural-Gas-Fired Generation in California?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    7. Sreedharan, P. & Farbes, J. & Cutter, E. & Woo, C.K. & Wang, J., 2016. "Microgrid and renewable generation integration: University of California, San Diego," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 169(C), pages 709-720.

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