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Modeling Strategic Electricity Storage: The Case of Pumped Hydro Storage in Germany

Wolf-Peter Schill and Claudia Kemfert

Year: 2011
Volume: Volume 32
Number: Number 3
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol32-No3-3
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We study the strategic utilization of storage in imperfect electricity markets. We apply a game-theoretic Cournot model to the German power market and analyze different counterfactual and realistic cases of pumped hydro storage. Our main finding is that both storage utilization and storage-related welfare effects depend on storage ownership and the operator's involvement in conventional generation. Strategic operators generally under-utilize owned storage capacity. Strategic storage operation may also lead to welfare losses, in particular if the total storage capacity is controlled by an oligopolistic generator that also owns conventional generation capacity. Yet in the current German situation, pumped hydro storage is not a relevant source of market power.

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.

Renewable Energy Support, Negative Prices, and Real-time Pricing

Michael Pahle, Wolf-Peter Schill, Christian Gambardella, and Oliver Tietjen

Year: 2016
Volume: Volume 37
Number: Sustainable Infrastructure Development and Cross-Border Coordination
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We analyze the welfare effects of two different renewable support schemes designed to achieve a given target for the share of fluctuating renewable electricity generation: a feed-in premium (FiP), which can induce negative wholesale prices, and a capacity premium (CP), which does not. For doing so we use a stylized economic model that differentiates between real-time and flat-rate pricing and is loosely calibrated on German market data. Counter-intuitively, we find that distortions through induced negative prices do not reduce the net consumer surplus of the FiP relative to the CP. Rather, the FiP performs better under all assumptions considered. The reason is that increased use of renewables under the FiP, particularly in periods of negative prices, leads to a reduction of required renewable capacity and respective costs. This effect dominates larger deadweight losses of consumer surplus generated by the FiP compared to the CP. Furthermore, surplus gains experienced by consumers who switch from flat-rate to real-time pricing are markedly higher under the FiP, which might be interpreted as greater incentives to enable such switching. While our findings are primarily of theoretical nature and the full range of implications of negative prices needs to be carefully considered, we hope that our analysis makes policy-makers more considerate of their potential benefits.

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