Equilibrium pricing in electricity markets with wind power

Rubin, Ofir
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Estimates from the World Wind Energy Association assert that world total wind power installed capacity climbed from 18 Gigawatt (GW) to 152 GW from 2000 to 2009. Moreover, according to their predictions, by the end of 2010 global wind power capacity will reach 190 GW. Since electricity is a unique commodity, this remarkable expansion brings forward several key economic questions regarding the integration of significant amount of wind power capacity into deregulated electricity markets.

The overall dissertation objective is to develop a comprehensive theoretical framework that enables the modeling of the performance and outcome of wind-integrated electricity markets. This is relevant because the state of knowledge of modeling electricity markets is insufficient for the purpose of wind power considerations. First, there is a need to decide about a consistent representation of deregulated electricity markets. Surprisingly, the related body of literature does not agree on the very economic basics of modeling electricity markets. That is important since we need to capture the fundamentals of electricity markets before we introduce wind power to our study. For example, the structure of the electric industry is a key. If market power is present, the integration of wind power has large consequences on welfare distribution. Since wind power uncertainty changes the dynamics of information it also impacts the ability to manipulate market prices. This is because the quantity supplied by wind energy is not a decision variable. Second, the intermittent spatial nature of wind over a geographical region is important because the market value of wind power capacity is derived from its statistical properties. Once integrated into the market, the distribution of wind will impact the price of electricity produced from conventional sources of energy. Third, although wind power forecasting has improved in recent years, at the time of trading short-term electricity forwards, forecasting precision is still low. Therefore, it is crucial that the uncertainty in forecasting wind power is considered when modeling trading behavior.

Our theoretical framework is based on finding a symmetric Cournot-Nash equilibrium in double-sided auctions in both forwards and spot electricity markets. The theoretical framework allows for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, a model of electricity markets that explain two main empirical findings; the existence of forwards premium and spot market mark-ups. That is a significant contribution since so far forward premiums have been explained exclusively by the assumption of risk-averse behavior while spot mark-ups are the outcome of the body of literature assuming oligopolistic competition.

In the next step, we extend the theoretical framework to account for deregulated electricity markets with wind power. Modeling a wind-integrated electricity market allows us to analyze market outcomes with respect to three main factors; the introduction of uncertainty from the supply side, ownership of wind power capacity and the geographical diversification of wind power capacity.

For the purpose of modeling trade in electricity forwards one should simulate the information agents have regarding future availability of aggregate wind power. This is particularly important for modeling accurately traders' ability to predict the spot price distribution. We develop a novel numerical methodology for the simulation of the conditional distribution of regional wind power at the time of trading short-term electricity forwards.

Finally, we put the theoretical framework and the numerical methodology developed in this study to work by providing a detailed computational experiment examining electricity market outcomes for a particular expansion path of wind power capacity.

Cournot-Nash equilibrium, Electricity forward premium, Electricity markets, Simulations, Wind power, Wind spatial correlation