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Analyzing the Potential Economic Value of Energy Storage

Abstract:
This paper examines the commercial opportunities for electrical energy storage, taking market prices as given and determining the extent to which a strategy of arbitrage across the day, buying at the lowest price times at night and selling at the highest price times during the early evening, and relying on price forecasts one day-ahead generates profits in the British context. The paper sets out the potential problems as the market moves to absorb increasing amounts of wind, then characterises the nature of prices, which reveals the importance of a strategy in which power is absorbed into store for a relatively few hours of the day and discharged over a relatively few hours. It argues that additional incentives may need to be put into place in order to render storage over relatively longer periods more attractive and to deliver broader social benefits which are unlikely to be generated and captured as a result of purely commercial considerations.

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Energy Specializations: Electricity - Storage; Renewables – Wind ; Electricity – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes: Q42: Alternative Energy Sources, Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices, C53: Forecasting Models; Simulation Methods

Keywords: Arbitrage, electricity markets, energy storage, market clearing, price forecasting

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.SI1.mgiu

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Published in Volume 39, Special Issue 1 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.