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A contribution to peak load pricing theory and application

Listed author(s):
  • N. Vijayamohanan Pillai

    (Centre for Development Studies)

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    The present paper attempts at a contribution to peak load pricing, in both theory and application. The general result from the traditional theory that charges the off-peak consumers marginal operating costs only and the peak users marginal operating plus marginal capacity costs, since it is the on-peakers who press against capacity, has already been called into question in the literature. It has also been shown that the equity norms are violated in the traditional peak load pricing, whereby off-peak users pay no capacity charges, but are supplied output out of the capacity, `bought/hired' by the on-peakers. Theoretical attempts at modification have proved that the traditional conclusion holds only for homogeneous plant capacity (e.g., in one plant case), and in economic loading of two or more plants, the off-peak price also includes a part of capacity costs. This paper, however, shows that if the off-peak period output is explicitly expressed in terms of capacity utilisation of that period, the result will be an off-peak price including a fraction of the capacity cost in proportion to its significance relative to total utilisation. This would appear as a general case, irrespective of the nature of generation technology, that is, even when there is only one plant. We also give an illustration by estimating marginal costs and peak load prices using time series data on the Kerala power system. Where the data are incapable of yielding the required statistically determined long-run relationship among the variables under study, we propose a simple and viable method of using discrete ratio of increments in lieu of a marginal value.

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    Paper provided by Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India in its series Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers with number 346.

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    Length: 56 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2003
    Handle: RePEc:ind:cdswpp:346
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    1. Weintraub, Sidney, 1970. "On Off-Peak Pricing: An Alternative Solution," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 501-519.
    2. Jack Hirshleifer, 1958. "Peak Loads and Efficient Pricing: Comment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 451-462.
    3. Johansen, Soren & Juselius, Katarina, 1990. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Inference on Cointegration--With Applications to the Demand for Money," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 52(2), pages 169-210, May.
    4. N. Vijayamohanan Pillai, 2001. "Electricity demand analysis and forecasting: The tradition is questioned," Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum Working Papers 312, Centre for Development Studies, Trivendrum, India.
    5. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
    6. Crew, Michael & Kleindorfer, Paul R, 1971. "Marshall and Turvey on Peak Load or Joint Product Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(6), pages 1369-1377, Nov.-Dec..
    7. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
    8. John T. Wenders, 1976. "Peak Load Pricing in the Electric Utility Industry," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 232-241, Spring.
    9. Crew, Michael A & Kleindorfer, Paul R, 1975. "Optimal Plant Mix in Peak Load Pricing," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 22(3), pages 277-291, November.
    10. Paul L. Joskow, 1976. "Contributions to the Theory of Marginal Cost Pricing," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 7(1), pages 197-206, Spring.
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