IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Electricity futures prices: time varying sensitivity to fundamentals


  • Stein-Erik Fleten

    () (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

  • Ronald Huisman

    () (Erasmus School of Economics and IEB)

  • Mehtap Kilic

    () (Erasmus School of Economics)

  • Enrico Pennings

    () (Erasmus School of Economics)

  • Sjur Westgaard

    () (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)


This paper provides insight in the time-varying relation between electricity futures prices and fundamentals in the form of prices of contracts for fossil fuels. As supply curves are not constant and different producers have different marginal costs of production, we argue that the relation between electricity futures prices and futures prices of underlying fundamentals such as natural gas, coal and emission rights are not constant and vary over time. We test this view by applying a model that linearly relates electricity futures prices to the marginal costs of production and calculate the log-likelihood of different time-varying and constant specifications of the coefficients. To do so, we formulate the model in state-space form and apply the Kalman Filter to observe the dynamics of the coefficients. We analyse historical prices of futures contracts with different delivery periods (calendar year and seasons, peak and off-peak) from Germany and the U.K. The results indicate that analysts should choose a time-varying specification to relate the futures price of power to prices of underlying fundamentals.

Suggested Citation

  • Stein-Erik Fleten & Ronald Huisman & Mehtap Kilic & Enrico Pennings & Sjur Westgaard, 2014. "Electricity futures prices: time varying sensitivity to fundamentals," Working Papers 2014/21, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  • Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2014-21

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Povh, Martin & Fleten, Stein-Erik, 2009. "Modeling long-term electricity forward prices," MPRA Paper 13162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Hendrik Bessembinder & Michael L. Lemmon, 2002. "Equilibrium Pricing and Optimal Hedging in Electricity Forward Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(3), pages 1347-1382, June.
    3. Stein-Erik, Fleten & Paraschiv, Florentina & Schürle, Michel, 2013. "Spot-forward Model for Electricity Prices," Working Papers on Finance 1311, University of St. Gallen, School of Finance.
    4. Schwartz, Eduardo S, 1997. " The Stochastic Behavior of Commodity Prices: Implications for Valuation and Hedging," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 923-973, July.
    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. Redl, Christian & Haas, Reinhard & Huber, Claus & Böhm, Bernhard, 2009. "Price formation in electricity forward markets and the relevance of systematic forecast errors," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 356-364, May.
    7. Ronald Huisman & Victoria Stradnic & Sjur Westgaard, 2013. "Renewable energy and electricity prices: indirect empirical evidence from hydro power," Working Papers 2013/24, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    8. Janczura, Joanna & Weron, Rafal, 2010. "An empirical comparison of alternate regime-switching models for electricity spot prices," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1059-1073, September.
    9. Lester G. Telser, 1958. "Futures Trading and the Storage of Cotton and Wheat," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 233-233.
    10. Rene Carmona & Michael Coulon & Daniel Schwarz, 2012. "Electricity price modeling and asset valuation: a multi-fuel structural approach," Papers 1205.2299,
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Electricity futures prices; prices of fossil fuels; time-varying coefficients; statespace model;

    JEL classification:

    • Q41 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2014-21. 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: (). 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.