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Imperfect Competition in Electricity Markets with Renewable Generation: The Role of Renewable Compensation Policies

We analyze the effects of commonly employed renewable compensation policies on firm behavior in an imperfectly competitive market. We consider a model where firms compete for renewable capacity in an auction prior to choosing their forward positions and competing in wholesale markets. We focus on fixed and premium-priced feed-in tariff (FIT) compensation policies. We demonstrate that compensation policies impact both the types of resources that win the auction and subsequent competition. While firms have stronger incentives to exercise market power under a premium-priced FIT, they also have increased incentives to sign pro-competitive forward contracts. In net firms have stronger incentives to exercise market power under the premium-priced policy. We find conditions under which renewable resources that are more correlated with market demand are procured under a premium-priced design, while the opposite occurs under a fixed-priced policy. If the cost efficiencies associated with the “more valuable” renewable resources are sufficiently large, then welfare is higher under the premium-priced policy despite the stronger market power incentives in the wholesale market.

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Keywords: Electricity, Renewables, Market Power, Regulation, Procurement

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.41.4.dbro

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Published in Volume 41, Number 4 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.


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