Arbitrage in Energy Markets: Competing in the Incumbent’s Shadow
This paper studies the welfare implications of using market mechanisms to allocate transmission capacity in recently liberalized electricity markets. It questions whether access to this essential facility should be traded on a market, or whether the incumbent should retain exclusive usage rights. We show that granting exclusive use to the incumbent might be optimal, if the capacity of the essential facility is small and the incumbent can reduce production costs by taking advantage of interregional production-cost di?erences. This result counters the intuition that arbitrage will improve the social surplus when there is no output contraction. The reason is that when competition is imperfect, arbitrage might reduce production e?ciency. We advise policymakers to introduce market mechanisms for the allocation of transmission capacity only if su?cient investment in the network is ensured or if the market power of the incumbent is broken in at least one of the markets in which it is active.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2007|
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"The Competitive Effects of Transmission Capacity in A Deregulated Electricity Industry,"
RAND Journal of Economics,
The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(2), pages 294-325, Summer.
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- Berenstein, Severin & Bushnell, James & Stoft, Steven, 2000. "The Competitive Effects of Transmission Capacity in a Deregulated Electricity Industry," Staff General Research Papers Archive 13145, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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- Bert Willems, 2002. "Barring consumers from the electricity network might improve welfare," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0213, KU Leuven, Department of Economics - Research Group Energy, Transport and Environment.
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