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Strategic Behavior in Day-Ahead and Real-Time Markets for Electricity: Offer Cost or Payment Cost Minimization?

  • Nicholas Shunda

    (University of Connecticut)

This study compares the procurement cost-minimizing and productive efficiency performance of the auction mechanism used by independent system operators (ISOs) in wholesale electricity auction markets in the U.S. with that of a proposed alternative. The current practice allocates energy contracts as if the auction featured a discriminatory final payment method when, in fact, the markets are uniform price auctions. The proposed alternative explicitly accounts for the market clearing price during the allocation phase. We find that the proposed alternative largely outperforms the current practice on the basis of procurement costs in the context of simple auction markets featuring both day-ahead and real-time auctions and that the procurement cost advantage of the alternative is complete when we simulate the effects of increased competition. We also find that a trade-off between the objectives of procurement cost minimization and productive efficiency emerges in our simple auction markets and persists in the face of increased competition.

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File URL: http://web2.uconn.edu/economics/working/2005-48.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2005-48.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2005-48
Note: I am grateful for the insightful comments from and helpful discussions with Vicki Knoblauch, Peter Luh, Joseph Yan, and William Blankson while this paper was being written. Generous financial support from the National Science Foundation under grant ECS-03233685 is gratefully acknowledged.
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  1. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1999. "Measuring Duopoly Power in the British Electricity Spot Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 805-826, September.
  2. Yan, Joseph H. & Stern, Gary A., 2002. "Simultaneous Optimal Auction and Unit Commitment for Deregulated Electricity Markets," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(9), pages 72-80, November.
  3. Spear, Stephen E., 2003. "The electricity market game," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 300-323, April.
  4. Nicolaisen, James & Petrov, Valentin & Tesfatsion, Leigh S., 2001. "Market Power and Efficiency in a Computational Electricity Market with Discriminatory Double-Auction Pricing," Staff General Research Papers 2050, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton, 1995. "Demand Reduction and Inefficiency in Multi-Unit Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 98wpdr, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 22 Jul 2002.
  6. 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.
  7. Natalia Fabra & Nils-Henrik von der Fehr & David Harbord, 2002. "Designing Electricity Auctions," Microeconomics 0211017, EconWPA, revised 31 Aug 2003.
  8. Frank A. Wolak & Robert H. Patrick, 2001. "The Impact of Market Rules and Market Structure on the Price Determination Process in the England and Wales Electricity Market," NBER Working Papers 8248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Severin Borenstein & James Bushnell, 1998. "An Empirical Analysis of the Potential for Market Power in California's Electricity Industry," NBER Working Papers 6463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Alfred E. Kahn & Peter Cramton & Robert H. Porter & Richard D. Tabors, 2001. "Pricing in the California Power Exchange Electricity Market: Should California Switch from Uniform Pricing to Pay-as-Bid Pricing?," Papers of Peter Cramton 01calpx, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 27 Jan 2001.
  11. Klemperer, Paul D & Meyer, Margaret A, 1989. "Supply Function Equilibria in Oligopoly under Uncertainty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1243-77, November.
  12. Nils-Henrik von der Fehr & David Harbord, 2002. "Competition in Electricity Spot Markets: Economic Theory and International Experience," Industrial Organization 0203006, EconWPA.
  13. Le Coq, Chloé, 2002. "Strategic use of available capacity in the electricity spot market," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 496, Stockholm School of Economics.
  14. Severin Borenstein & James B. Bushnell & Frank A. Wolak, 2002. "Measuring Market Inefficiencies in California's Restructured Wholesale Electricity Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1376-1405, December.
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