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Goldilocks and the Three Electricity Prices: Are Irish Prices "Just Right"?

  • Devitt, Conor
  • Diffney, Seán
  • FitzGerald, John
  • Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura
  • Tuohy, Aidan

In this paper we analyse the 2008 electricity price in the Irish All-Island Market. We test whether this price is 'efficient' by comparing it to the electricity price in Great Britain. This analysis suggests that around ?16 per MWh of the difference in wholesale prices between Ireland and Britain is due to differences in generating technology. The new wholesale electricity market for the island of Ireland appears to be working well ? it is producing a wholesale price that approximates the long run marginal cost that would apply in a large liquid competitive market. In the British market the wholesale price appears to be below the long run marginal cost of producing electricity. Retail margins in Great Britain are high, especially for households. Only some of this margin compensates vertically integrated utilities for the low wholesale price. In the Republic of Ireland the retail margin was probably also higher than it should have been.

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Paper provided by Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in its series Papers with number WP372.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp372
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  1. Tol, Richard S.J., 2012. "A cost–benefit analysis of the EU 20/20/2020 package," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 288-295.
  2. Lunn, Pete & Duffy, David, 2010. "The Euro Through the Looking-Glass: Perceived Inflation Following the 2002 Currency Changeover," Papers WP338, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  3. Callan, Tim & Keane, Claire & Walsh, John R. & Lane, Marguerita, 2010. "From Data to Policy Analysis: Tax-Benefit Modelling using SILC 2008," Papers WP359, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  4. Tuohy, Aidan & Bazilian, Morgan & Doherty, Ronan & Gallachóir, Brian Ó & O'Malley, Mark, 2009. "Burning peat in Ireland: An electricity market dispatch perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 3035-3042, August.
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