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Ciarreta, A., Nasirov, S., & Silva, C. (2016). The development of market power in the Spanish power generation sector: Perspectives after market liberalization. Energy Policy, 96, 700–710.
Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the market power problem in the Spanish power generation sector and examines how and to which extent the market has developed in terms of market power concerns after the market liberalization reforms. The methodology applied in this study includes typical ex-post structural and behavioral measures employed to estimate potential for market power, namely: concentration ratios (CR) (for the largest and the three largest suppliers), the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI), Entropy, Pivotal Supply Index, the Residual Supply Index and Residual Demand Elasticity (RDE). The results are presented for the two largest Spanish generating companies (Endesa and Iberdrola) acting in the Iberian Electricity Market (MIBEL), and in the Spanish Day-ahead electricity market. The results show evidence that these companies have behaved much more competitively in recent periods than in the beginning of the market liberalization. In addition, the paper discusses important structural and regulatory changes through market liberalization processes in the Spanish Day ahead electricity market. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fernandez, M., Munoz, F. D., & Moreno, R. (2020). Analysis of imperfect competition in natural gas supply contracts for electric power generation: A closed-loop approach. Energy Econ., 87, 15 pp.
Abstract: The supply of natural gas is generally based on contracts that are signed prior to the use of this fuel for power generation. Scarcity of natural gas in systems where a share of electricity demand is supplied with gas turbines does not necessarily imply demand rationing, because most gas turbines can still operate with diesel when natural gas is not available. However, scarcity conditions can lead to electricity price spikes, with welfare effects for consumers and generation firms. We develop a closed-loop equilibrium model to evaluate if generation firms have incentives to contract or import the socially-optimal volumes of natural gas to generate electricity. We consider a perfectly-competitive electricity market, where all firms act as price-takers in the short term, but assume that only a small number of firms own gas turbines and procure natural gas from, for instance, foreign suppliers in liquefied form. We illustrate an application of our model using a network reduction of the electric power system in Chile, considering two strategic firms that make annual decisions about natural gas imports in discrete quantities. We also assume that strategic firms compete in the electricity market with a set of competitive firms do not make strategic decisions about natural gas imports (i.e., a competitive fringe). Our results indicate that strategic firms could have incentives to sign natural gas contracts for volumes that are much lower than the socially-optimal ones, which leads to supernormal profits for these firms in the electricity market. Yet, this effect is rather sensitive to the price of natural gas. A high price of natural gas eliminates the incentives of generation firms to exercise market power through natural gas contracts. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Munoz, F. D., Wogrin, S., Oren, S. S., & Hobbs, B. F. (2018). Economic Inefficiencies of Cost-based Electricity Market Designs. Energy J., 39(3), 51–68.
Abstract: Some restructured power systems rely on audited cost information instead of competitive bids for the dispatch and pricing of electricity in real time, particularly in hydro systems in Latin America. Audited costs are also substituted for bids in U.S. markets when local market power is demonstrated to be present. Regulators that favor a cost-based design argue that this is more appropriate for systems with a small number of generation firms because it eliminates the possibilities for generators to behave strategically in the spot market, which is a main concern in bid-based markets. We discuss existing results on market power issues in cost- and bid-based designs and present a counterintuitive example, in which forcing spot prices to be equal to marginal costs in a concentrated market can actually yield lower social welfare than under a bid-based market design due to perverse investment incentives. Additionally, we discuss the difficulty of auditing the true opportunity costs of generators in cost- based markets and how this can lead to distorted dispatch schedules and prices, ultimately affecting the long-term economic efficiency of a system. An important example is opportunity costs that diverge from direct fuel costs due to energy or start limits, or other generator constraints. Most of these arise because of physical and financial inflexibilities that become more relevant with increasing shares of variable and unpredictable generation from renewables.