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Reliability and Competitive Electricity Markets

  • Joskow, P.
  • Tirole, J.

Deregulation of the electricity sector has resulted in conflict between the economic aims of creating competitive wholesale and retail markets, and an engineering focus on reliability of supply. The paper starts by deriving the optimal prices and investment program when there are price-insensitive retail consumers, and their load serving entities can choose any level of rationing they prefer contingent on real time prices. It then examines the assumptions required for a competitive wholesale and retail market to achieve this optimal price and investment program. The paper analyses the implications of relaxing several of these assumptions. First, it analyses the interrelationships between regulator-imposed price caps, capacity obligations, and system operator procurement, dispatch and compensation arrangements. It goes on to explore the implications of potential network collapses, the concomitant need for operating reserve requirements and whether market prices will provide incentives for investments consistent with these reserve requirements.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 0450.

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Length: 51
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0450
Note: CMI, IO
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  1. Chao, Hung-po & Wilson, Robert, 1987. "Priority Service: Pricing, Investment, and Market Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 899-916, December.
  2. Severin Borenstein & Stephen Holland, 2005. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Electricity Markets with Time-Invariant Retail Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 469-493, Autumn.
  3. Joskow, Paul & Tirole, Jean, 2004. "Retail Electricity Competition," IDEI Working Papers 311, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  4. Littlechild, S.C., 2000. "Why We Need Electricity Retailers: A Reply to Joskow on Wholesale Spot Price pass-through," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0008, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Allaz Blaise & Vila Jean-Luc, 1993. "Cournot Competition, Forward Markets and Efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-16, February.
  6. Frank Wolak, 2000. "An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Hedge Contracts on Bidding Behavior in a Competitive Electricity Market," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 1-39.
  7. Peter Cramton & Steven Stoft, 2005. "A Capacity Market that Makes Sense," Papers of Peter Cramton 05licap, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2005.
  8. Green, Richard, 1999. "The Electricity Contract Market in England and Wales," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 107-24, March.
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