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Absence of a market in the Dutch balancing mechanism: European rules versus specific investments

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  • Eva Niesten

    ()

  • Albert Jolink

    ()

Abstract

The European directives for the electricity industry prescribe the creation of a market for balancing electricity supply and demand. In this paper, we demonstrate that a market for balancing has not emerged in the Dutch electricity industry, and that, instead, the balancing transactions are governed by regulated, long-term contracts and a bidding mechanism. We explain the absence of a balancing market by using the framework of transaction cost economics, in which the efficiency of a market decreases with increasing investments in specific assets. The results of a questionnaire among the energy firms that supply balancing power in the Dutch setting show that these firms have invested in specific physical, temporal and dedicated balancing assets. The need for these specific investments to balance supply and demand does not only explain the absence of a market, but also the lack of participation by small firms in the balancing mechanism. We recommend several policies, such as stimulating technological developments for the storage of electricity and demand side management, which reduce these specific investments in balancing assets, and thereby stimulate the creation of a market and the participation of small firms. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Eva Niesten & Albert Jolink, 2014. "Absence of a market in the Dutch balancing mechanism: European rules versus specific investments," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 71-90, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ejlwec:v:38:y:2014:i:1:p:71-90
    DOI: 10.1007/s10657-013-9411-2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Koliou, Elta & Eid, Cherrelle & Chaves-Ávila, José Pablo & Hakvoort, Rudi A., 2014. "Demand response in liberalized electricity markets: Analysis of aggregated load participation in the German balancing mechanism," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 245-254.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Balancing mechanism; Specific investments; Electricity market; European rules; Transaction cost economics; D23; K23; L22; L94; Q48;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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