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Restructuring Electricity Markets when Demand is Uncertain: Effects on Capacity Investments, Prices and Welfare


  • Anette Boom

    (Copenhagen Business School)

  • Stefan Buehler

    (University of Zurich)


We examine the effects of restructuring electricity markets on capacity investments, retail prices and welfare when demand is uncertain. We study the following market configurations: (i) integrated monopoly, (ii) integrated duopoly with wholesale trade, and (iii) separated duopoly with wholesale trade. Assuming that wholesale prices can react to changes in retail prices (but not vice versa), we find that generators install sufficient capacity to serve retail demand in each market configuration, thus avoiding blackouts. Furthermore, aggregate capacity levels and retail prices are such that the separated (integrated) duopoly with wholesale trade performs best (worst) in terms of welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Anette Boom & Stefan Buehler, 2007. "Restructuring Electricity Markets when Demand is Uncertain: Effects on Capacity Investments, Prices and Welfare," CIE Discussion Papers 2007-09, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieci:2007-09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Castro-Rodriguez, Fidel & Marín, Pedro L. & Siotis, Georges, 2009. "Capacity choices in liberalised electricity markets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2574-2581, July.
    2. Sheshinski, Eytan & Dreze, Jacques H, 1976. "Demand Fluctuations, Capacity Utilization, and Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 66(5), pages 731-742, December.
    3. von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik Morch & Harbord, David, 1993. "Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 531-546, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Meade & Seini O’Connor, 2011. "Comparison of Long-term Contracts and Vertical Integration in Decentralized Electricity Markets," Chapters,in: Competition, Contracts and Electricity Markets, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Boom, Anette & Schwenen, Sebastian, 2012. "Real-time Pricing in Power Markets: Who Gains?," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 66062, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Baldursson , Fridrik M. & von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik, 2007. "Vertical Integration and Long-Term Contracts in Risky Markets," Memorandum 01/2007, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    4. Anette Boom, 2012. "Vertikale Entflechtung in der Stromwirtschaft," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 81(1), pages 57-71.
    5. Boom, Anette, 2009. "Vertically integrated firms' investments in electricity generating capacities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 544-551, July.

    More about this item


    electricity; investments; generating capacities; vertical integration; monopoly and competition;

    JEL classification:

    • D42 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Monopoly
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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