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[en] Although the Nordic countries were among the first to develop competition in the electricity industry, it took a long time to make retail competition work. In Norway and Sweden a considerable number of households are actively using the market but very few households are active in Finland and Denmark. One problem has been institutional barriers involving metering, limited unbundling of distribution and supply, and limited access to reliable information on contracts and prices. (author)
[en] Nordic residential electricity consumers can now choose among a number of contracts and suppliers. A large number of households have continued to purchase electricity from the incumbent supplier at default contract terms. In this paper, we compare the situation for such passive customers. Danish default prices are regulated whereas default prices in the other countries are unregulated. Systematic price differences exist among the Nordic countries. However, as wholesale prices sometimes differ the gross margin is a more relevant indicator. Regulated gross margins are lower in Denmark than in Sweden but higher than in Norway and Finland. Because of market design Norwegian default contracts are competitive whereas Swedish contracts provide the retailer with some market power. We interpret the low Finnish margins as a result of municipal retailers continuing traditional pricing from the monopoly period. Danish margins are higher than the competitive Norwegian margins but are earned from a much lower level of consumption. The annually margins earned per consumer are very close in the two countries, which indicates that the Danish regulation is achieving its objective of approaching competitive prices. - Highlights: → Prices of active and passive Nordic residential electricity consumers are compared. → Active consumers get lower prices in Sweden but not in Norway. → Prices of passive consumers differ considerably among the four Nordic countries. → Danish regulated prices compare well with unregulated prices in the other countries. → Passive consumers in Finland have low prices compared with the other countries.
[en] In this paper, we set out to investigate the price and quantity fluctuations in Western Denmark, which took place during the winter season 2002-2003. It was a period, which exhibited critical supply conditions in the Nordic area due to a shortage of hydropower. On average, the market in Western Denmark helped to ease the situation by large net exports. However, a more detailed investigation reveals anomalies in market behaviour that do not fit well into this overall positive description of the situation. Several explanations of the anomalies are offered. These may work separately or act in concert. In particular, we look at: the exercise of market power and gaming of the dominant power generator; the role of the large capacity of volatile wind power; the role of the guaranteed fixed prices and the design and functioning of the special auction system of transmission capacity in the interface between Western Denmark and Germany
[en] Liberalisation of the electricity market has taken place in most European countries within the last decade. It is considered a precondition of successful liberalisation to establish so-called independent regulatory authorities. In this article, we compare the status and practice of them in 16 European countries, and discuss the relationship between the organisation of the regulation and the market outcome