The Impact of Market Rules and Market Structure on the Price Determination Process in the England and Wales Electricity Market
This paper argues that the market rules governing the operation of the England and Wales electricity market in combination with the structure of this market presents the two major generators National Power and PowerGen with opportunities to earn revenues substantially in excess of their costs of production for short periods of time. Generators competing to serve this market have two strategic weapons at their disposal: (1) the price bid for each generation set and (2) the capacity of each generation set made available to supply the market each half-hour period during the day. We argue that because of the rules governing the price determination process in this market, by the strategic use of capacity availability declarations, when conditions exogenous to the behavior of the two major generators favor it, these two generators are able to obtain prices for their output substantially in excess of their marginal costs of generation. The paper establishes these points in the following manner. First, we provide a description of the market structure and rules governing the operation of the England and Wales electricity market, emphasizing those aspects that are important to the success of the strategy we believe the two generators use to exercise market power. We then summarize the time series properties of the price of electricity emerging from this market structure and price-setting process. By analyzing four fiscal years of actual market prices, quantities and generator bids into the market, we provide various pieces of evidence in favor of the strategic use of the market rules by the two major participants. The paper closes with a discussion of the lessons that the England and Wales experience can provide for the design of competitive power markets in the US, particularly California, and other countries.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2001|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Green, Richard J, 1996. "Increasing Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 205-16, June.
- von der Fehr, Nils-Henrik Morch & Harbord, David, 1993.
"Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 531-46, May.
- Von der Fehr, N.H.M. & Harbord, D., 1992. "Spot Market Competition in the UK Electricity Industry," Memorandum 09/1992, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
- Christensen, Laurits R & Greene, William H, 1976. "Economies of Scale in U.S. Electric Power Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 655-76, August.
- Bolle, Friedel, 1992. "Supply function equilibria and the danger of tacit collusion : The case of spot markets for electricity," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 94-102, April.
- Joskow, Paul L & Schmalensee, Richard, 1987.
"The Performance of Coal-Burning Electric Generating Units in the United States: 1960-1980,"
Journal of Applied Econometrics,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 2(2), pages 85-109, April.
- Paul L. Joskow & Richard Schmalensee, 1985. "The Performance of Coal-Burning Electric Generating Units in the United States: 1960-1980," Working papers 379, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Green, Richard & Newbery, David M G, 1991.
"Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
557, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Green, Richard J & Newbery, David M, 1992. "Competition in the British Electricity Spot Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 929-53, October.
- Powell, Andrew, 1993. "Trading Forward in an Imperfect Market: The Case of Electricity in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(417), pages 444-53, March.
- Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, December.
- Bunn, Derek W. & Larsen, Erik R., 1992. "Sensitivity of reserve margin to factors influencing investment behaviour in the electricity market of England and Wales," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 420-429, May.
- Dieter Helm & Andrew Powell, 1992. "Pool prices, contracts and regulation in the British electricity supply industry," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(1), pages 89-105, February.
- Amihai Glazer & Henry McMillan, 1992. "Pricing by the Firm Under Regulatory Threat," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 1089-1099.
- Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8248. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.