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Improving Investment Coordination in Electricity Networks Through Smart Contracts

Author

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  • Christine Brandstätt
  • Gert Brunekreeft
  • Nele Friedrichsen

Abstract

Smart contracts based on voluntary participation and optionality can be a low transaction cost solution to implement locational signals in distribution networks and thereby avoid network investment. This paper examines the efficiency properties of smart contracts. Based on a three-node example network we show that cases exist in which smart contracts can achieve a pareto-improvement compared to the status-quo even with voluntary participation. With the pareto improvement at least one party is better of under a smart contract without worsening the situation for anyone else. We note that this requirement is very restrictive and leaves significant potential for efficiency improvements by smart contracts untapped. We then discuss the implementation of smart contracts with incentive regulation. There are two main tasks for the regulator: allowing network operators flexibility to offer such contracts and incentivizing network operators to do so.

Suggested Citation

  • Christine Brandstätt & Gert Brunekreeft & Nele Friedrichsen, 2011. "Improving Investment Coordination in Electricity Networks Through Smart Contracts," Bremen Energy Working Papers 0010, Bremen Energy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:bei:00bewp:0010
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    File URL: http://b-e-r.user.jacobs-university.de/bewp/bewp10.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dijk, Justin & Willems, Bert, 2011. "The effect of counter-trading on competition in electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 1764-1773, March.
    2. Robert D. Willig, 1978. "Pareto-Superior Nonlinear Outlay Schedules," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(1), pages 56-69, Spring.
    3. Hogan, William W, 1992. "Contract Networks for Electric Power Transmission," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 211-242, September.
    4. Brunekreeft, Gert & Neuhoff, Karsten & Newbery, David, 2005. "Electricity transmission: An overview of the current debate," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 73-93, June.
    5. Brandstätt, Christine & Brunekreeft, Gert & Jahnke, Katy, 2011. "How to deal with negative power price spikes?--Flexible voluntary curtailment agreements for large-scale integration of wind," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 3732-3740, June.
    6. Brandstätt, Christine & Brunekreeft, Gert & Friedrichsen, Nele, 2011. "Locational signals to reduce network investments in smart distribution grids: What works and what not?," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 244-254.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tilmann Rave & Ursula Triebswetter & Johann Wackerbauer, 2013. "Koordination von Innovations-, Energie- und Umweltpolitik," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 61, October.
    2. Brunekreeft, Gert, 2015. "Network unbundling and flawed coordination: Experience from the electricity sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 11-18.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    network investment; distribution networks; locational pricing; smart contracts;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure

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