Electricity market design for long-term capacity adequacy in a context of energy transition

Abstract : The ongoing energy transition, partly characterized by the massive deployment of renewables, has reignited a long-lasting debate on the best market design options to provide adequate investment incentives and ensure capacity adequacy in liberalised electricity markets. To choose the appropriate market design, policymakers need to assess and compare the economic performances of available solutions in terms of effectiveness and cost-efficiency. This dissertation complements the existing literature on market design for long-term capacity adequacy by focusing on three research topics: (i) understanding how electricity markets perform under different assumptions regarding investors’ risk preferences, (ii) analysing the compatibility of private agents’ incentives to mothball capacity resources with security of supply objectives and (iii) assessing the economic performance of different market designs in a context of a high penetration of renewables. To this end, the System Dynamics modelling framework is applied to represent long-term dynamics resulting from private agents’ decisions in liberalised electricity markets. The dissertation is organised in three chapters corresponding to each of the topics mentioned above. The main results are outlined below. Firstly, capacity remuneration mechanisms are necessary to deal with the detrimental effects of investors’ risk aversion. Energy-only markets are significantly affected by this phenomenon as they experience reduced investment incentives and higher levels of shortages. Capacity markets are more resilient to private investors’ risk aversion. However, this resilience depends on the level of the price cap in the capacity auctions. For such a market design to provide satisfactory outcomes in terms of capacity adequacy, this price cap should account for the investment risk faced by market participants. Secondly, when market participants have the possibility to mothball their capacity resources, these mothballing decisions can potentially modify investment and shutdown dynamics in the long run. Furthermore, in a world with capacity lumpiness (i.e. indivisibilities), mothballing increases the level of coordination needed to ensure capacity adequacy. This is especially true in energy-only markets, where mothballing increases the level of shortages to an extent that seems to overweigh the cost savings it generates at system level. Capacity markets can provide the required coordination to ensure capacity adequacy in a world with mothballing. Thirdly, among proposed market designs in the literature, capacity markets appear as the preferable solution to ensure capacity adequacy from a social welfare point of view. Nevertheless, from a private investor’s perspective and under certain conditions related to high penetration of renewables, capacity markets with annual contracts do not entirely remove the so-called “missing money” problem. The results indicate that granting multiannual capacity contracts alleviates the problem.
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Ahmed Ousman Abani. Electricity market design for long-term capacity adequacy in a context of energy transition. Economics and Finance. PSL Research University, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019PSLEM018⟩. ⟨tel-02301297⟩

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