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Questioning the EU Target Electricity Model – how should it be adapted to deliver the Trilemma?

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  • David Newbery

Abstract

Britain considers the energy-only EU Target Electricity Model (TEM) wanting in delivering the trilemma of reliability, sustainability and affordability and argues that a capacity auction with long-term contracts for new entrants is the least-cost solution compared to relying on expectations of future prices to deliver adequate generation and demand side response. The Energy Union argues against feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for renewables, pressing for premium FiTs (pFiTs), just as GB has abandoned PFiTs in favour of FiTs. This paper draws on the GB experience of Electricity Market Reform before and after the 2015 change of government, to highlight promising resolutions of the energy trilemma, and the problems that have arisen between the diagnosis of the problem and the delivery of solutions. It sets out the theory and practice of delivering capacity, energy and quality of supply, gives a brief history of GB electricity from the CEGB to its current unbundled, liberalized and privatized structure. That sheds light on the trilemma problem and discusses possible solutions. The island of Ireland Single Electricity Market reforms illustrate the problem and possible answer of how best to deliver quality of service with high intermittency.

Suggested Citation

  • David Newbery, 2016. "Questioning the EU Target Electricity Model – how should it be adapted to deliver the Trilemma?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1634, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:1634
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Newbery, David M., 1998. "The regulator's review of the English Electricity Pool," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 129-141, November.
    2. Fabien A. Roques & William J. Nuttall & David M. Newbery & Richard de Neufville & Stephen Connors, 2006. "Nuclear Power: A Hedge against Uncertain Gas and Carbon Prices?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 1-24.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reliability; sustainability and affordability; capacity auctions; contract design; renewables;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D47 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Market Design
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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