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Using Forward Markets to Improve Electricity Market Design



Forward markets, both medium term and long term, complement the spot market for wholesale electricity. The forward markets reduce risk, mitigate market power, and coordinate new investment. In the medium term, a forward energy market lets suppliers and demanders lock in energy prices and quantities for one to three years. In the long term, a forward reliability market assures adequate resources are available when they are needed most. The forward markets reduce risk for both sides of the market, since they reduce the quantity of energy that trades at the more volatile spot price. Spot market power is mitigated by putting suppliers and demanders in a more balanced position at the time of the spot market. The markets also reduce transaction costs and improve liquidity and transparency. Recent innovations to the Colombia market illustrate the basic elements of the forward markets and their beneficial role.

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  • Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 2009. "Using Forward Markets to Improve Electricity Market Design," Papers of Peter Cramton 09ufm, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:09ufm

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cramton, Peter & Stoft, Steven, 2008. "Forward reliability markets: Less risk, less market power, more efficiency," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 194-201, September.
    2. Peter Cramton & Steven Stoft, 2006. "The Convergence of Market Designs for Adequate Generating Capacity," Papers of Peter Cramton 06mdfra, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2006.
    3. Oren, Shmuel S., 2005. "Generation Adequacy via Call Options Obligations: Safe Passage to the Promised Land," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(9), pages 28-42, November.
    4. Peter Cramton, 2007. "Colombia’s Forward Energy Market," Papers of Peter Cramton 07fem, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2007.
    5. Peter Cramton & Steven Stoft & Jeffrey West, 2006. "Simulation of the Colombian Firm Energy Market," Papers of Peter Cramton 06scfem, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2006.
    6. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 2004. "Auctioning Many Divisible Goods," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 480-493, 04/05.
    7. Peter Cramton & Steven Stoft, 2007. "Colombia Firm Energy Market," Papers of Peter Cramton 07cfem, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 2007.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cuervo, Felipe Isaza & Botero, Sergio Botero, 2016. "Wind power reliability valuation in a Hydro-Dominated power market: The Colombian case," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1359-1372.
    2. Olaya, Yris & Arango-Aramburo, Santiago & Larsen, Erik R., 2016. "How capacity mechanisms drive technology choice in power generation: The case of Colombia," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 563-571.
    3. Ramos, Ariana & De Jonghe, Cedric & Gómez, Virginia & Belmans, Ronnie, 2016. "Realizing the smart grid's potential: Defining local markets for flexibility," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 26-35.
    4. Ritz, Robert A., 2016. "How does renewables competition affect forward contracting in electricity markets?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 135-139.
    5. Wierzbowski, Michal & Filipiak, Izabela, 2017. "Enhanced operational reserve as a tool for development of optimal energy mix," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 602-615.
    6. repec:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:272-285 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Arango, Santiago & Larsen, Erik, 2011. "Cycles in deregulated electricity markets: Empirical evidence from two decades," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 2457-2466, May.
    8. van Eijkel, Remco & Kuper, Gerard H. & Moraga-González, José L., 2016. "Do firms sell forward for strategic reasons? An application to the wholesale market for natural gas," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 1-35.
    9. Adams, R. & Jamasb, J., 2016. "Optimal Power Generation Portfolios with Renewables: An Application to the UK," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1646, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.

    More about this item


    Auctions; electricity auctions; market design; forward markets;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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