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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.

Is Mandating "Smart Meters" Smart?

Thomas-Olivier Leautier

Year: 2014
Volume: Volume 35
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/01956574.35.4.6
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The advent of "smart meters" will make possible Real Time Pricing (RTP) of electricity: customers will face and react to wholesale spot prices, thus consumption of electric power will be aligned with its opportunity cost. This article determines the marginal value of a fraction of demand (or a consumer) switching to RTP, conditional on smart meters installation. First, it establishes sufficient conditions for the marginal value of RTP to be decreasing as the fraction of customers on RTP increases. Second, it derives this marginal value for a simple yet realistic specification of demand. Finally, using data from the French power market, it estimates that, for the vast majority of residential customers whose peak demand is lower than 6 kVA, the net surplus from switching to RTP is lower than 1 €/year for low demand elasticity, 4 €/year for high demand elasticity. This finding casts a doubt on the economic value of rolling out smart meters to all residential customers, for both policy makers and power suppliers.

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