EUROPEAN ELECTRICITY MARKET REFORMS: THE “VISIBLE HAND” OF PUBLIC COORDINATION

15-10-2013 -  Dominique FINON and Fabien ROQUES

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Key words: capacity mechanism, renewables policies, long-term contracts, electricity markets

Abstract

The paper investigates how proposed reforms on policies to maintain generation adequacy and encourage clean technology investments in a number of European countries modify the role of the market. In these reforms the government, regulator and system operator take on explicit planning and coordination responsibilities with the introduction of capacity mechanisms and long-term support for clean technologies. We highlight the interactions of these mechanisms with the electricity market and how they reallocate risks between generators, government and consumers. The different mechanisms offer varying degrees of autonomy to generators with regards to investment decisions. In a prospective way, the paper also explores how designs of these different mechanisms might converge towards a unified technology neutral mechanism in the long-run. This could involve auctioning of long-term contracts for all types of existing and new capacities, whether it is low carbon or fossil fuelled.

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