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Irish and British Historical Electricity Prices and Implications for the Future


  • Deane, Paul
  • FitzGerald, John
  • Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura
  • Tuohy, Aidan
  • Walsh, Darragh


This paper compares retail and wholesale electricity prices in SEM, the market of the island of Ireland, and BETTA in Great Britain. Wholesale costs are much lower in BETTA. We show that this is mostly because the wholesale price in BETTA is set too low to cover generation costs, although it is compensated by large retail margins. The substantial need for new investment in generation in Great Britain suggests that returns to generators will have to increase. Developing a market mechanism to compensate generators fairly while simultaneously reducing retail revenue will help in achieving this goal.

Suggested Citation

  • Deane, Paul & FitzGerald, John & Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura & Tuohy, Aidan & Walsh, Darragh, 2013. "Irish and British Historical Electricity Prices and Implications for the Future," Papers WP452, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp452

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Di Cosmo, Valeria & Malaguzzi Valeri, Laura, 2014. "The incentive to invest in thermal plants in the presence of wind generation," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 306-315.
    2. Derek Bunn & Georg Zachmann, 2010. "Inefficient arbitrage in inter-regional electricity transmission," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 243-265, June.
    3. Seán Diffney & John Fitz Gerald & Seán Lyons & Laura Malaguzzi Valeri, 2009. "Investment in electricity infrastructure in a small isolated market: the case of Ireland," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(3), pages 469-487, Autumn.
    4. Bergin, Adele & Conefrey, Thomas & FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide, 2009. "Recovery Scenarios for Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS007.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:enepol:v:106:y:2017:i:c:p:212-221 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. John Curtis, Valeria Di Cosmo, and Paul Deane, 2014. "Climate policy, interconnection and carbon leakage: The effect of unilateral UK policy on electricity and GHG emissions in Ireland," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    3. Upton, J. & Murphy, M. & Shalloo, L. & Groot Koerkamp, P.W.G. & De Boer, I.J.M., 2015. "Assessing the impact of changes in the electricity price structure on dairy farm energy costs," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 1-8.

    More about this item


    SEM/BETTA/electricity prices/simulation model;

    JEL classification:

    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L98 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Government Policy

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