IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rationales for Capacity Remuneration Mechanisms: Security of Supply Externalities and Asymmetric Investment Incentives


  • Jan Horst Keppler

    (LEDa - Laboratoire d'Economie de Dauphine - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - Université Paris-Dauphine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


Economics so far provides little conceptual guidance on capacity remuneration mechanisms (CRM) in deregulated electricity markets. Ubiquitous in real-world electricity markets, CRMs are introduced country by country in an ad hoc manner, lacking the theoretical legitimacy and the conceptual coherence enabling comparability and coordination. They are eyed with suspicion by a profession wedded to a theoretical benchmark model that argues that competitive energy-only markets with VOLL pricing provide adequate levels of capacity. While the benchmark model is a consistent starting point for discussions about electricity market design, it ignores the two market failures that make CRMs the practically appropriate and theoretically justified policy response to capacity issues. First, energy-only markets fail to internalize security-of-supply externalities as involuntary curbs on demand under scarcity pricing generate social costs beyond the private non-consumption of electricity. Second, when demand is inelastic and the potential capacity additions are discretely sized, investors face asymmetric incentives and will underinvest at the margin rather than overinvest. After presenting the key features of the theoretical benchmark model, this paper conceptualizes security of supply externalities and asymmetric investment incentives and concludes with some consideration regarding design of CRMs.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Horst Keppler, 2017. "Rationales for Capacity Remuneration Mechanisms: Security of Supply Externalities and Asymmetric Investment Incentives," Post-Print hal-01609383, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01609383
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Keppler, Jan Horst, 1998. "Externalities, Fixed Costs and Information," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(4), pages 547-563.
    2. Evens Salies & Lynne Kiesling & Michael Giberson, 2007. "L'électricité est-elle un bien public ?," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 101(2), pages 399-420.
    3. Vázquez, Carlos & Rivier, Michel & Pérez-Arriaga, Ignacio J., 2001. "If Pay-as-Bid Auctions Are Not a Solution for California, then Why Not a Reliability Market?," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 41-48, May.
    4. Steven Stoft, 2006. "Problems of Transmission Investment in a Deregulated Power Market," Chapters,in: Competitive Electricity Markets and Sustainability, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Finon, Dominique & Pignon, Virginie, 2008. "Electricity and long-term capacity adequacy: The quest for regulatory mechanism compatible with electricity market," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 143-158, September.
    6. Keppler, Jan Horst, 2010. "« Going with Coase against Coase : The Dynamic Approach to the Internalization of External Effects »," MPRA Paper 30081, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. de Vries, Laurens & Heijnen, Petra, 2008. "The impact of electricity market design upon investment under uncertainty: The effectiveness of capacity mechanisms," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 215-227, September.
    8. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/7067 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dominique Finon & Fabien Roques, 2013. "European Electricity Market Reforms: The "Visible Hand" of Public Coordination," Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2).
    10. Joskow, Paul L., 2008. "Capacity payments in imperfect electricity markets: Need and design," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 159-170, September.
    11. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10982 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. A. Michael Spence, 1977. "Entry, Capacity, Investment and Oligopolistic Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(2), pages 534-544, Autumn.
    13. D. Finon & V. Pignon, 2008. "Electricity and long-term capacity adequacy: The quest for regulatory mechanism compatible with electricity market," Post-Print hal-00716312, HAL.
    14. Batlle, C. & Rodilla, P., 2010. "A critical assessment of the different approaches aimed to secure electricity generation supply," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7169-7179, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gerard Llobet and Jorge Padilla, 2018. "Conventional Power Plants in Liberalized Electricity Markets with Renewable Entry," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3).
    2. Bublitz, Andreas & Keles, Dogan & Zimmermann, Florian & Fraunholz, Christoph & Fichtner, Wolf, 2018. "A survey on electricity market design: Insights from theory and real-world implementations of capacity remuneration mechanisms," Working Paper Series in Production and Energy 27, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Industrial Production (IIP).


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01609383. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CCSD). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.