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Power System Transformation toward Renewables: An Evaluation of Regulatory Approaches for Network Expansion

Jonas Egerer, Juan Rosellón, and Wolf-Peter Schill

Year: 2015
Volume: Volume 36
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.4.jege
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We analyze various regulatory regimes for electricity transmission investment in the context of a power system transformation toward renewable energy. Distinctive developments of the generation mix are studied, assuming that a shift toward renewables may have temporary or permanent impacts on network congestion. We specifically analyze the relative performance of a combined merchant-regulatory price-cap mechanism, a cost-based rule, and a non-regulated approach in dynamic generation settings. We find that incentive regulation may perform better than cost-based regulation but only when appropriate weights are used. While quasi-ideal weights generally restore the beneficial properties that incentive regulatory mechanisms are well-known for, pure Laspeyres weights may either lead to over-investment or delayed investments as compared to the welfare-optimum benchmark. Laspeyres-Paasche weights, in turn, seem appropriate under permanently or temporarily increased network congestion. Thus, our analysis provides motivation for further research in order to characterize optimal regulation for transmission expansion in the context of renewable integration.

Integration of Renewables into the Ontario Electricity System

Brian Rivard and Adonis Yatchew

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Bollino-Madlener Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.SI2.briv
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The Ontario electricity industry has a 'hybrid' structure: electricity is bought and sold in a competitive wholesale electricity market while supply mix planning and procurement are conducted through a government agency. Most generation is secured through long-term contracts. Aggressive renewable energy programs have led to rapidly growing renewable capacity, mainly wind generation. Coal-fired generation has been eliminated and electricity sales have dropped. The competitive hourly market price has declined and there is a clear merit-order effect: an increase of wind generation from 500 MW to 1500 MW can be expected to decrease price by 7 CAD/MWh. However, the all-in price, which incorporates contractually guaranteed supply prices, has risen from about 60 to 100 CAD/MWh between 2009 and 2014. Operational and market integration of renewable resources has been achieved relatively smoothly. The procurement process is over-centralized: increased reliance on market discipline and greater separation between governmental policy makers and regulators would enhance both the efficacy and efficiency of decarbonization policies.

Remuneration of Flexibility using Operating Reserve Demand Curves: A Case Study of Belgium

Anthony Papavasiliou and Yves Smeers

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: Number 6
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.6.apap
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Flexibility is becoming an increasingly important attribute of conventional generators due to the challenges imposed by the unpredictable, highly variable and non-controllable nature of renewable supply. Paradoxically, flexible units are currently being mothballed or retired in Europe due to financial losses. We investigate an energy-only market design, referred to as operating reserve demand curves, that rewards flexibility by adjusting the real-time energy price to a level that reflects the value of capacity under conditions of scarcity. We test the performance of the mechanism by developing a model of the Belgian electricity market, which is validated against the historical outcomes of the market over a study period of 21 months. We verify that (i) based on the observed market outcomes of our study period, none of the existing combined cycle gas turbines of the Belgian market can cover their investment costs, and (ii) the introduction of price adders that reflect the true value of scarce flexible capacity restores economic viability for most combined cycle gas turbines in the Belgian market.

Enhancing Intraday Price Signals in U.S. ISO Markets for a Better Integration of Variable Energy Resources

Ignacio Herrero, Pablo Rodilla, and Carlos Batlle

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.3.iher
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Efficient operation of power systems increasingly requires accurate forecasting of load and variable energy resources (VER) production, along with flexible resources and markets, capable of adapting to changing conditions in the intraday horizon. It is of utmost importance to reflect these needs in price signals, to align the incentives of market agents with the new challenges. The two-settlement system used by U.S. ISOs falls short to provide efficient intraday economic signals and a cost reflective allocation of intraday rescheduling costs. This paper advocates for a multi-settlement system, which entails calculating intraday prices as forecasts are updated and re-schedules are executed. This approach incorporates more granular prices, as in European intraday markets, while keeping the efficient centralized dispatch logic of the ISO model. A stylized case example illustrates the virtues of a multi-settlement system, which sends cost reflective signals, and consequently facilitates VER integration.

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