THE IMPACT OF INTERMITTENT RENEWABLE PRODUCTION AND MARKET COUPLING ON THE CONVERGENCE OF FRENCH AND GERMAN ELECTRICITY PRICES

20-10-2014 -  Jan Horst KEPPLER, Sébastien PHAN, Yannick LE PEN et Charlotte BOUREAU

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Power grid Dispatching Network Hydro Plant


Interconnecting two adjacent areas of electricity production generates benefits in combined consumer surplus and welfare by allowing electricity to flow from the low cost area to the high cost area. It will lower prices in the high cost area, raise them in the low cost area and will thus have prices in the two areas converge. With unconstrained interconnection capacity, price convergence is, of course, complete and the two areas are merged into a single area. With constrained interconnection capacity, the challenge for transport system operators (TSOs) and market operators is using the available capacity in an optimal manner. This was the logic behind the “market coupling” mechanism installed by European power market operators in November 2009 in the Central Western Europe (CWE) electricity market, of which France and Germany constitute by far the two largest members. Market coupling aims at optimising welfare by ensuring that buyers and sellers exchange electricity at the best possible price taking into account the combined order books all power exchanges involved as well as the available transfer capacities between different bidding zones. By doing so, interconnection capacity is allocated to those who value it most.

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