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Capacity Mechanisms and Effects on Market Structure

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  • Elberg, Christina
  • Kranz, Sebastian

Abstract

Liberalized electricity markets are characterized by a fluctuating price-inelastic demand, non-storable electricity and often show substantial market shares held by one or few incumbent firms. These characteristics have led to a controversial discussion concerning the need for and the design of capacity mechanisms, which combine some form of capacity payments with price caps in the spot market. The purpose of this study is to understand the effects of different capacity mechanisms on the market structure. We consider a model with a dominant firm and a competitive fringe and investigate the impact of price caps and capacity payments on investment incentives and market shares of both parties. While lower price caps reduce the potential for the exercise of market power in static models, we find that in the dynamic model with endogenous investments lower price caps increase market concentration and the frequency of capacity withholding, as well as, the dominant firm's profits.

Suggested Citation

  • Elberg, Christina & Kranz, Sebastian, 2013. "Capacity Mechanisms and Effects on Market Structure," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79811, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79811
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Natalia Fabra & Nils‐Henrik Fehr & David Harbord, 2006. "Designing electricity auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 37(1), pages 23-46, March.
    2. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:1:p:23-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Cramton, Peter & Stoft, Steven, 2005. "A Capacity Market that Makes Sense," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 43-54.
    5. Finon, Dominique & Pignon, Virginie, 2008. "Electricity and long-term capacity adequacy: The quest for regulatory mechanism compatible with electricity market," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 143-158, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Joskow, Paul L., 2008. "Capacity payments in imperfect electricity markets: Need and design," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 159-170, September.
    8. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1983. "Raising Rivals' Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 267-271, May.
    9. Milgrom,Paul, 2004. "Putting Auction Theory to Work," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721, January.
    10. Natalia Fabra & Nils‐Henrik M von der Fehr & María‐Ángeles de Frutos, 2011. "Market Design and Investment Incentives," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(557), pages 1340-1360, December.
    11. D. Finon & V. Pignon, 2008. "Electricity and long-term capacity adequacy: The quest for regulatory mechanism compatible with electricity market," Post-Print hal-00716312, HAL.
    12. Grimm, Veronika & Zöttl, Gregor, 2010. "Investment Incentives and Electricity Spot Market Design," Discussion Papers in Economics 11705, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:272-285 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Elberg, Christina, 2014. "Cross-Border Effects of Capacity Mechanisms in Electricity Markets," EWI Working Papers 2014-11, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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