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[en] Interconnections can be an effective way to increase competition and improve market integration in concentrated wholesale electricity markets with limited number of participants. This paper examines the potential for interconnections and increasing market integration in the Irish Single Electricity Market (SEM). We use a time-varying Kalman filter technique to assess the degree of market integration between SEM and other large, mature and interconnected wholesale electricity markets in Europe including Great Britain (GB). The results indicate no market integration between SEM and other European markets except for Elspot and GB. We show that the current state of market integration between SEM and GB is just 17% indicating potential to improve market integration via increased interconnector capacity. The results indicate that liquidity of wholesale markets might be a crucial factor in the market integration process while our results remain inconclusive in determining whether increased trade of renewables can improve market integration. - Highlights: ► We assess the degree of market integration between SEM and other EU electricity markets. ► Our results indicate no market integration between SEM and other European markets except for Elspot and GB. ► We show that the current state of market integration between SEM and GB is just 17%.
[en] In 'Retail competition in electricity markets' (Energy Policy, 37(2), February 2009, Pages 377-386) it is argued by Defeuilly that the introduction of retail competition into electricity markets gave rise to great expectations that it failed to meet, and that this was primarily the fault of Austrian economic thinking. The main purpose of this note is to explain why both of these propositions are incorrect. A few further comments challenge his subsequent suggestion that the competitive process in electricity is so constrained by the limitations of consumer decision-making and electricity technology as to cast doubt on the policy of opening the retail market to competition
[en] The main purpose of this paper is to discuss the welfare effects of a proposed merger in the Swedish electric power market, using firm level data on power capacity. By using a simulation model we calculate the unilateral effects of the merger on the welfare effects for society. The merger is then evaluated, using a tacit collusion (coordinated effects) framework highlighting important features of the institutional setting. The latter mimics the methodology some European competition authorities use to evaluate mergers in oligopolistic settings, when it is obvious that it is joint dominance, not single dominance that may result. The results from our simulations suggest that in most cases the unilateral effects will decrease the welfare. The outcome of the qualitative elaboration using the tacit collusion framework basically confirms these results
[en] Russia is one of the world's major sources of carbon based energy as well as one its most intensive users. Introducing carbon taxes can lead to a reduction in emissions and encourage investment in energy efficiency. We investigate the economic effects of carbon taxes on the Russian economy under perfect competition and a Cournot oligopoly in output markets. The main findings are: (i) substituting carbon taxes for labour taxes can yield a strong double dividend in Russia; however, welfare gains strongly depend on the labour supply elasticity and elasticities of substitution between capital, labour, and energy. (ii) Under the assumption of a Cournot oligopoly with homogenous products and symmetric firms in the markets for natural gas, petroleum and chemical products, metals, and minerals, welfare costs of the environmental tax reform can be higher than under perfect competition. This is because introducing carbon taxes leads to a reduction in already sub-optimal output, thereby exacerbating pre-existing distortions arising from imperfect competition. (iii) Furthermore, increases in energy costs can result in higher mark-ups in some markets because of less competition resulting from firms' exit. - Highlights: ► Substituting carbon taxes for labour taxes in Russia can yield a double dividend. ► The labour supply elasticity and substitution possibilities between factors are crucial. ► Introducing carbon taxes can exacerbate distortions from imperfect competition. ► Increases in energy costs result in higher mark-ups because of less competition.
[en] The international oil and gas industry has always required access to external capital - debt and equity -in order to finance growth and the development of oil and gas projects. Today the industry faces an unprecedented number of investment opportunities and demands at a time when internally generated cash flows, historically the primary source of capital for most companies, is depressed. The underlying premise of this paper is that while the capital requirements of the industry in the next decade are likely to be in excess of the US$1 trillion spent during the last decade, capital, both internally generated and from external sources, will be available. However, restrictions on the allocation and the cost of capital will be crucial in determining which projects and companies are successful. The capital requirements of the next decade to maintain current oil production levels, replace reserves, fund exploration and development in the frontier areas and meet the environmental challenges of the downstream sector, call upon both the industry and the financial community to create innovative financial structures which ensure that capital is made available on terms which meet the requirements of both borrowers and lenders. (author)
[en] Open access pipeline transport transformed the US natural gas industry. This paper examines the role that transport rights played in the industry's transformation. It documents the convergence of gas field prices, pooling area prices and city gate prices that has occurred since the adoption of open access. The analysis suggests the most important reasons for this convergence to be the fact that direct dealing between gas suppliers and users has replaced the pipeline merchant; that gas transactions are made within a competitive market institution; and that transport trading has created an interconnected grid of pipelines in place of the closed and disconnected grid that preceded open access. This open and interconnected grid supplied the means for price arbitrage. These changes have made natural gas markets contestable. The conclusions about the role of regulation in an industry organized around transferable transport rights extend to natural gas markets beyond those in North America. (Author)
[en] This paper studies different concentration and dominance measures using structural indexes used to initially screen the competitive situation in a market. The Nordic and Swedish electricity markets are used as the empirical cases. Market concentration issues in the Nordic electricity market in general and in Sweden in particular have been, at least in initial screenings, approached by the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI). This article uses an alternative measure to HHI, which is based on market shares of the two largest firms in the market. The results shows that only the Swedish wholesale market has a firm that can be regarded as dominant, but only during very short periods. The results from a hypothetical merger between the second and third largest company in the Swedish wholesale market shows that when the dominant position of the largest firm is reduced, by increasing the size of the second largest firm, the threshold value indicates that competition actually will increase (contradicting to the HHI).
[en] In this paper we advocate a new initial allocation mechanism for a tradable pollution permit market. We outline a Permit Allocation Contest (PAC) that distributes permits to firms based on their rank relative to other firms. This ranking is achieved by ordering firms based on an observable 'external action' where the external action is an activity or characteristic of the firm that is independent of their choice of emissions in the tradable permit market. We argue that this mechanism has a number of benefits over auctioning and grandfathering. Using this mechanism efficiently distributes permits, allows for the attainment of a secondary policy objective and has the potential to be more politically appealing than existing alternatives. (author)
[en] Comparisons suggest that Texas has been relatively successful in its efforts to introduce greater competition and customer choice into its unique electricity market (Center for Advancement of Electricity Markets, 2002). Yet, Texas has defied many of the common prescriptions in designing its market. Texas has yet to establish a nodal congestion management system that directly assigns local congestion costs to entities responsible for creating transmission congestion. A liquid power exchange or spot market is absent. Programs designed to encourage demand side responsiveness had a slow start. Market concentration remains high. Market oversight activities are poorly funded. A generation adequacy mechanism or planning reserve margin requirement remains under debate. Has Texas simply been lucky in averting any real disasters? Or are these market features less important than commonly recognized? This article reviews the restructuring initiative and reports some key lessons learned following the first twenty months under the new wholesale market structure and fifteen months of retail competition. (author)