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Building Blocks: Investment in Renewable and Non-Renewable Technologies

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  • Bushnell, James

Abstract

Over the last several years, there has been a nation-wide intensification of policies directed at increasing the level of renewable sources of electricity. These environmental policy changes have occurred against a backdrop of shifting economic regulation in power markets that has fundamentally redefined the mechanisms through which investors in power plants earn revenues. Rather than base payments upon costs, revenues in many regions are now based upon fluctuating energy prices and, in some cases, supplemental payments for installed capacity. This paper studies the interaction between these two major forces that are currently dominating the economic landscape of the electricity industry. Using data from the western U.S., we examine how the large-scale expansion of intermittent resources of generation could influence long-run equilibrium prices and investment decisions under differing wholesale power market designs. We find that as the level of wind penetration increases, the equilibrium investment mix of other resources shifts towards less baseload and more peaking capacity. As wind penetration increases, an “average” wind producer earns increasingly more revenue under markets with capacity payments than those that base compensation on energy revenues.

Suggested Citation

  • Bushnell, James, 2010. "Building Blocks: Investment in Renewable and Non-Renewable Technologies," Staff General Research Papers Archive 31546, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:31546
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    File URL: http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/papers/p11546-2010-05-25.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cramton, Peter & Stoft, Steven, 2005. "A Capacity Market that Makes Sense," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 43-54.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cepeda, Mauricio & Finon, Dominique, 2013. "How to correct for long-term externalities of large-scale wind power development by a capacity mechanism?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 671-685.
    2. Ueckerdt, Falko & Hirth, Lion & Luderer, Gunnar & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2013. "System LCOE: What are the costs of variable renewables?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 61-75.
    3. Chao, Hung-po, 2011. "Efficient pricing and investment in electricity markets with intermittent resources," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 3945-3953, July.
    4. Hirth, Lion & Ueckerdt, Falko, 2013. "Redistribution effects of energy and climate policy: The electricity market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 934-947.
    5. Vithayasrichareon, Peerapat & MacGill, Iain F., 2012. "Portfolio assessments for future generation investment in newly industrializing countries – A case study of Thailand," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1044-1058.
    6. Nelson, Tim & Reid, Cameron & McNeill, Judith, 2015. "Energy-only markets and renewable energy targets: Complementary policy or policy collision?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 25-42.
    7. Hirth, Lion & Ueckerdt, Falko & Edenhofer, Ottmar, 2015. "Integration costs revisited – An economic framework for wind and solar variability," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 925-939.
    8. Hirth, Lion, 2013. "The market value of variable renewables," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 218-236.
    9. Lion Hirth, 2013. "The Market Value of Variable Renewables. The Effect of Solar and Wind Power Variability on their Relative Price," RSCAS Working Papers 2013/36, European University Institute.
    10. Böckers, Veit & Giessing, Leonie & Rösch, Jürgen, 2013. "The green game changer: An empirical assessment of the effects of wind and solar power on the merit order," DICE Discussion Papers 104, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    11. Barbose, Galen & Wiser, Ryan & Heeter, Jenny & Mai, Trieu & Bird, Lori & Bolinger, Mark & Carpenter, Alberta & Heath, Garvin & Keyser, David & Macknick, Jordan & Mills, Andrew & Millstein, Dev, 2016. "A retrospective analysis of benefits and impacts of U.S. renewable portfolio standards," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 645-660.
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13149 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. De Jonghe, C. & Hobbs, B. F. & Belmans, R., 2011. "Integrating short-term demand response into long-term investment planning," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1132, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    14. Mendes, Carla & Soares, Isabel, 2014. "Renewable energies impacting the optimal generation mix: The case of the Iberian Electricity Market," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 23-33.
    15. Bhagwat, Pradyumna C. & Richstein, Jörn C. & Chappin, Emile J.L. & de Vries, Laurens J., 2016. "The effectiveness of a strategic reserve in the presence of a high portfolio share of renewable energy sources," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 13-28.
    16. Tietjen, Oliver & Pahle, Michael & Fuss, Sabine, 2016. "Investment risks in power generation: A comparison of fossil fuel and renewable energy dominated markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 174-185.
    17. Browne, Oliver & Poletti, Stephen & Young, David, 2015. "How does market power affect the impact of large scale wind investment in 'energy only' wholesale electricity markets?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 17-27.

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    Keywords

    Investment; Renewable Energy; Capacity Markets;

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