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Systematic Analysis of the Evolution of Electricity and Carbon Markets under Deep Decarbonisation

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The decarbonisation of electricity generation presents policy-makers in many countries with the delicate task of balancing initiatives for technological change whilst maintaining a commitment to market liberalisation. Despite the theoretical attractions, it has become debatable whether carbon markets by themselves can offer a complete solution. We address this through a modelling framework, stylised for the GB power market within the EU ETS, which includes three distinct components: (a) a long-term least-cost capacity planning model, similar in functionality to many used in policy analysis, but innovative in providing the endogenous calculation of carbon prices; (b) a short-term price risk model producing hourly dispatch and pricing outputs, which are used to test the annual financial performance risks implied by the longer-term investments; (c) an agent-based model which uses a computational learning algorithm to derive pricing behaviour in imperfect markets. The results indicate that the risk/return profile of electricity markets deteriorates substantially as a result of decarbonisation, reducing the propensity of companies to invest in the absence of increased government support. Markets may adjust, if allowed, by deferring investment until conditions improve, or by consolidating to increase market power, or by operating in a tighter market with reduced spare capacity. To the extent that each of these ‘market-led’ solutions may be politically unpalatable, policy design will need to sustain a delicate regulatory regime, moderating the increasing market power of companies whilst maintaining low-carbon subsidies for longer than expected.

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  • Blyth, William & Bunn, Derek & Chronopoulos, Michail & Munoz, Jose, 2014. "Systematic Analysis of the Evolution of Electricity and Carbon Markets under Deep Decarbonisation," Discussion Papers 2014/39, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Business and Management Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhhfms:2014_039
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/11250/227053
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    1. Keppo, Jussi & Lu, Hao, 2003. "Real options and a large producer: the case of electricity markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 459-472, September.
    2. Green, Richard & Vasilakos, Nicholas, 2010. "Market behaviour with large amounts of intermittent generation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3211-3220, July.
    3. Fell, Harrison & MacKenzie, Ian A. & Pizer, William A., 2012. "Prices versus quantities versus bankable quantities," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 607-623.
    4. Shimon Awerbuch, 2006. "Portfolio-Based Electricity Generation Planning: Policy Implications For Renewables And Energy Security," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 693-710, May.
    5. Karakatsani, Nektaria V. & Bunn, Derek W., 2008. "Forecasting electricity prices: The impact of fundamentals and time-varying coefficients," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 764-785.
    6. Blyth, William & Bunn, Derek & Kettunen, Janne & Wilson, Tom, 2009. "Policy interactions, risk and price formation in carbon markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5192-5207, December.
    7. Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
    8. Janne Kettunen, Derek W. Bunn and William Blyth & Derek W. Bunn & William Blyth, 2011. "Investment Propensities under Carbon Policy Uncertainty," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 77-118.
    9. Fortin, Ines & Fuss, Sabine & Hlouskova, Jaroslava & Khabarov, Nikolay & Obersteiner, Michael & Szolgayova, Jana, 2007. "An Integrated CVaR and Real Options Approach to Investments in the Energy Sector," Economics Series 209, Institute for Advanced Studies.
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    Keywords

    Carbon Trading; Electricity Markets; Risk; Investment; Market Power;

    JEL classification:

    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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