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The Willingness to Pay for Renewable Energy Sources: The Case of Italy with Socio-demographic Determinants

Carlo Andrea Bollino

Year: 2009
Volume: Volume 30
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol30-No2-4
View Abstract

Abstract:
According to the Renewable Sources EU Directive 2001/77/CE, the Italian Government goal is to attain the share of 22% in RES electricity production in 2010. In such context it becomes crucial to explore the existence of consumer's Willingness to Pay (WTP) in order to use renewable energy in the electricity production. This study is based on a national survey with 1601 interviews made, in Italy, in November 2006. My aim is twofold. Firstly, I wish to assess the consumer's WTP which is the basis for market sustainability of such energy policy goal and, secondly, I evaluate the share of the necessary public support to RES policy which is covered by the aggregate WTP of Italians. This is an implicit assessment of the plausibility/acceptance of the announced target policy. In my survey framework I obtain the consumer's WTP with two different approaches and to this end the sample has been divided in two parts. In the first sub-sample I propose the full price vector with a downward elicitation format while in the second sub-sample I use the same price vector with an upward elicitation format. In this paper I focus on the different uncertainty degree that affects respondent's choices. I take care econometrically of this issue using an individual stochastic valuation approach and a referendum approach. I obtain for most of the estimated models that estimates of WTP are in agreement with other international results. The aggregate WTP for RES in Italy, however, is (still) not enough to attain the Italian Government goal in 2010.



Electricity Demand in Wholesale Italian Market

Simona Bigerna and Carlo Andrea Bollino

Year: 2014
Volume: Volume 35
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.35.3.2
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Abstract:
In this paper we pursue two objectives: firstly we construct a theory based behavioral model of electricity demand in the Italian market; secondly we measure demand elasticity at hourly level, directly from consumer behavior. This is a novel approach providing the first attempt in the literature to estimate demand elasticity using individual demand bid data in the Italian Power Exchange (IPEX). Econometric estimation allows us to identify robust results, showing that elasticity varies significantly with: time of the day; day of the week; season of the year; pattern of line congestion; as well as according to the level of equilibrium price. This has meaningful policy implications: fostering more competition on the supply side could yield lower equilibrium prices and proportionately much higher quantities, for a lower offer curve shifted to the right would intersect a flatter portion of the demand curve. Keywords: Electricity market, Demand Elasticity, Heterogeneous consumers, Italy, System marginal Price



A System Of Hourly Demand in the Italian Electricity Market

Simona Bigerna and Carlo Andrea Bollino

Year: 2015
Volume: Volume 36
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.4.sbig
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Abstract:
The purpose of this paper is to analyze and test demand behavior in the organized electricity market. According to a theoretical framework of heterogeneous agents' behavior, we estimate a complete multi-stage system weakly separable using individual demand bid data in the Italian Power Exchange. The novel contribution of this paper is twofold. Firstly, we model hourly demand of heterogeneous groups of agents acting in the Italian electricity market with a simultaneous system for all 24 hours. Secondly, we empirically measure the entire structure of expenditure elasticities and cross price elasticities for all 24 hours of the day, ascertaining whether hourly electricity demands can be considered normal or luxury goods and substitutes or complements in an organized electricity market. Econometric estimation shows that price elasticity tends to be higher when hourly price peak. Moreover, electricity exhibits both substitutability and complementarity characteristic in different hours of the day, the former during the day and the latter during the night. Electricity appears to be a normal good during nighttime and a luxury good during daytime. The demand structure has welfare improving policy implications, because appropriate regulation can favor consumer behavior adjustment to shave consumption away from peak prices, thus yielding lower aggregate equilibrium expenditures. To this end, we advocate reforming the actual administered two-price tariff structure to introduce real time pricing options for Italian final users.



Market Power and Transmission Congestion in the Italian Electricity Market

Simona Bigerna, Carlo Andrea Bollino and Paolo Polinori

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Number 2
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.2.sbig
View Abstract

Abstract:
Analysis of market power in electricity markets is relevant for understanding the competitive development of the industry's restructuring and liberalization process, but in the existing literature, there is not an adequate consideration of line transmission congestion. The aim of this paper is to propose a new approach to measuring market power in the Italian Power Exchange (IPEX), explicitly considering transmission line congestion. We construct a new measure of the residual demand curve to disentangle unilateral market power from congestion rent for the main Italian generators during the period April 2004 to December 2007. In Italy, this period was one of stable transmission network structure. Following the approach of Wolak (2003, 2009), we measure the unilateral market power with the Lerner index (LI), computed as the inverse of the residual demand elasticity. In conclusion, the correct modeling of the residual demand curve including transmission congestions enables us to compute the zonal LI and therefore more accurately measure the market power when congestion occurs. Our results show that various generators exercise market power only in specific zones. These findings provide deeper understanding of market outcomes in the presence of congestion, suggesting appropriate policy directions for market surveillance and competition regulation.



Optimal Price Design in the Wholesale Electricity Market

Simona Bigerna and Carlo Andrea Bollino

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Bollino-Madlener Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.SI2.sbig
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Abstract:
In this paper, we construct an optimal price design mechanism to determine the equilibrium in the day-ahead electricity market, specifically aimed at solving the uncomfortable conflict between conventional thermal sources (CTS) and renewable energy sources (RES). We find that the actual hourly market design is inadequate to achieve an efficient solution in the presence of a large and increasing share of RES. It is not conducive to catalyzing the correct price signal for future investments and does not take into account welfare considerations. Our proposal for a new market design is based on three main pillars. We state pro-competitive incentives to CTS participation in the market. We take into full account the opportunity cost of RES for society and propose correct price signals on the demand side through an optimal Ramsey pricing scheme. We show an empirical application to the Italian electricity market, using empirical measures of LCOE for RES and empirical estimation of heterogeneous buyers' behavior. The results show improvement in efficiency and welfare in the Italian electricity market with respect to the existing zonal market prices for suppliers and uniform price for buyers.



Foreword to the Special Issue on “High Shares of Renewable Energy Sources and Electricity Market Reform”

Carlo Andrea Bollino and Reinhard Madlener

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Bollino-Madlener Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.SI2.cbol
No Abstract



Renewable Energy and Market Power in the Italian Electricity Market

Simona Bigerna, Carlo Andrea Bollino and Paolo Polinori

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Bollino-Madlener Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.SI2.ppol
View Abstract

Abstract:
The Italian electricity market has been characterized by a remarkable increase of renewable energy source (RES) supply since 2010, which has determined relevant structural changes in the electric system. Noticeably, during favorable weather conditions, such as sunny or windy hours, increasing supply of RES generation exerts a downward pressure to the formation of the equilibrium price in the market and at the same time forces an increase in line congestion. The aim of this paper is to investigate whether such RES increase has affected the exercise of market power in the Italian Power Exchange (IPEX), explicitly considering transmission line congestion. We employ our approach to construct the residual demand curve and to disentangle the measure of the unilateral market power from the congestion rent. We compute the zonal Lerner index during the period 2009 to 2013 for the main generators in the Italian day-ahead market and we analyze the correlation among market power, congestion and RES supply. In particular, we investigate whether RES development has affected congestion and firm's strategic behavior, empirically testing whether structural changes have occurred in market power or in congestion rent. Our results show that the exercise of market power has been considerably weakened during peak hours by the massive competition of RES, but it has been surprisingly reinforced in specific off-peak hours, in the absence of solar RES and in specific zones, where congestion yields market splitting. These findings support pro-competitive market regulation and reform strategies, and shed light on the impact of RES and congestion on market outcomes.



Analyzing the Effects of Renewable Energy and Climate Conditions on Consumer Welfare

Tarek Atalla, Simona Bigerna, Carlo Andrea Bollino, and Rolando Fuentes

Year: 2017
Volume: Volume 38
Number: KAPSARC Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.38.SI1.tata
View Abstract

Abstract:
This paper aims to measure the impact of the gradual adoption of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) on the welfare of consumers. To this end, we construct a theoretically founded measure of the true cost of living (TCL) and the equivalence scale (ES) for the household sector, based on a weather database of heating and cooling degree days. We estimate those values for 64 countries, which represent over two-thirds of the world population, according to World Bank statistics. We assume that the identified household in each country minimizes its expenditure on energy and other goods. We simulate alternate scenarios of renewables implementation in 2035, taking account of different RES prices, and assess the related societal implications of a gradual transition from fossil fuels to RES. The empirical results offer policymakers a basis for designing appropriate scenarios for the deployment of renewables, with the aim of fostering consumer welfare even in the context of international negotiations.





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