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On the Stability of Energy-Only Markets with Government-Initiated Contracts-for-Differences

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  • Paul Simshauser

    (Department of Accounting, Finance & Economics, Griffith University, Brisbane 4111, Australia)

Abstract

Rising levels of variable renewable energy (VRE) in Australia’s National Electricity Market have been driven by a 20% renewable energy target by 2020. This certificated renewable portfolio standard has successfully driven new investment, allocated risk amongst buy- and sell-side market participants and met overall policy objectives. But a policy vacuum for achieving long-term CO 2 emission targets post-2020 has led to sub-national and, potentially, national governments initiating contract-for-differences (CfDs) to drive further investment activity in new plant—with virtually no coordination between the jurisdictions. In a gross pool energy-only market setting, replacing on-market transactions between retailers and generators with off-market transactions between governments and generators may have unintended side-effects vis-à-vis market stability. In this article, an energy-only gross pool is modeled with rising levels of off-market government-initiated CfDs, with a specific focus on spot and forward contract market outcomes. Model results show that as VRE plant enters, coal plant exit, and on-market firm hedge contracts historically supplied by coal plant are progressively replaced by off-market CfDs. In the event, while a tractable equilibrium can be maintained in the spot market, shortages of “primary issuance” hedge contracts emerge in the forward market. Any shortage of hedge contract capacity is likely to raise forward contract price premiums above efficient levels, force price-elastic customers into accepting unwanted spot market exposures and may unintentionally foreclose non-integrated (2nd tier) energy retailers, all of which harms consumer welfare. A wide-ranging program of government CfDs may therefore not be compatible with an energy-only market design.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Simshauser, 2019. "On the Stability of Energy-Only Markets with Government-Initiated Contracts-for-Differences," Energies, MDPI, vol. 12(13), pages 1-24, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jeners:v:12:y:2019:i:13:p:2566-:d:245448
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Simshauser, Paul, 2020. "Merchant renewables and the valuation of peaking plant in energy-only markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(C).
    2. Nelson, Tim & Pascoe, Owen & Calais, Prabpreet & Mitchell, Lily & McNeill, Judith, 2019. "Efficient integration of climate and energy policy in Australia’s National Electricity Market," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 178-193.
    3. Simshauser, P., 2019. "Lessons from Australia’s National Electricity Market 1998-2018: the strengths and weaknesses of the reform experience," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1972, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Paul Simshauser & Joel Gilmore, 2020. "Is the NEM broken? Policy discontinuity and the 2017-2020 investment megacycle," Working Papers EPRG2014, Energy Policy Research Group, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
    5. Simshauser, Paul, 2019. "Missing money, missing policy and Resource Adequacy in Australia's National Electricity Market," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 1-1.
    6. Wadim Strielkowski & Dalia Streimikiene & Alena Fomina & Elena Semenova, 2019. "Internet of Energy (IoE) and High-Renewables Electricity System Market Design," Energies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(24), pages 1-17, December.
    7. Ricardo Gonçalves & Flávio Menezes, 2021. "Market-wide impact of renewables on electricity prices in Australia," Discussion Papers Series 640, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    8. Simshauser, P., 2021. "Renewable Energy Zones in Australia’s National Electricity Market," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2119, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    9. Webb, Jeremy & de Silva, H. Nadeeka & Wilson, Clevo, 2020. "The future of coal and renewable power generation in Australia: A review of market trends," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 363-378.
    10. Simshauser, P., 2020. "Merchant utilities and boundaries of the firm: vertical integration in energy-only markets," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2039, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    11. Nelson, Tim & Rai, Alan & Esplin, Ryan, 2021. "Overcoming the limitations of variable renewable production subsidies as a means of decarbonising electricity markets," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 544-556.
    12. Yasir Alsaedi & Gurudeo Anand Tularam & Victor Wong, 2021. "Impact of the Nature of Energy Management and Responses to Policies Regarding Solar and Wind Pricing: A Qualitative Study of the Australian Electricity Markets," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 11(3), pages 191-205.

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