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Nuclear Power: A Hedge against Uncertain Gas and Carbon Prices?

Fabien A. Roques , William J. Nuttall, David M. Newbery, Richard de Neufville, Stephen Connors

Year: 2006
Volume: Volume 27
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol27-No4-1
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High fossil fuel prices have rekindled interest in nuclear power. This paper identifies specific characteristics making nuclear power unattractive to merchant generators in liberalized electricity markets, and argues that non-fossil fuel technologies have an overlooked option value given fuel and carbon price uncertainty. Stochastic optimization estimates the company option value of keeping open the choice between nuclear and gas technologies. The merchant option value decreases sharply as the correlation between electricity, gas, and carbon prices rises, casting doubt on whether merchant investors have adequate incentives to choose socially efficient diversification in liberalized electricity markets.

Market Integration and Wind Generation: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Wind Generation on Cross-Border Power Prices

Sébastien Annan-Phan and Fabien A. Roques

Year: 2018
Volume: Volume 39
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.39.3.spha
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European power markets have become more integrated and renewables have a significant effect on power prices and cross-border exchanges. This paper investigates empirically how the effects of renewables are affected by market expansion across two adjacent countries (France and Germany), based on market data and proprietary data on book orders. We find that wind production lowers power prices on average and increases volatility, not only domestically but also across borders. Using multiple counterfactuals, we examine how our results depend on the level of interconnection and find that further interconnection capacity would decrease price volatility in both countries since the benefits of a larger market would outweigh the contagion effects of volatility. Our findings have important policy implications as they demonstrate the need to coordinate support policies for renewables and policies to support transmission capacity expansion in order to mitigate the impact of volatility on power prices in neighboring power markets.

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