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[en] Power distribution companies (DISCOs) play an important role in promoting energy efficiency (hereafter EE), mainly due to the fact that they have detailed information regarding their clients' consumption patterns. However, under the traditional regulatory framework, DISCOs have disincentives to promote EE, due to the fact that a reduction in sales also means a reduction in their revenues and profits. Most regulatory policies encouraging EE have some embedded payment schemes that allow financing EE programs. In this paper, we focus on these EE-programs' payment schemes that are embedded into the regulatory policies. Specifically, this paper studies two models of the Principal–Agent bi-level type in order to analyze the economic effects of implementing different payment schemes to foster EE in DISCOs. The main difference between each model is that uncertainty in energy savings is considered by the electricity regulatory institution in only one of the models. In terms of the results, it is observed that, in general terms, it is more convenient for the regulator to adopt a performance-based incentive mechanism than a payment scheme financing only the fixed costs of implementing EE programs. However, if the electricity regulatory institution seeks a higher level of minimum expected utility, it is optimal to adopt a mixed system of compensation, which takes into account the fixed cost compensation and performance-based incentive payments. - Highlights: • We studied different payment schemes to promote energy efficiency in DISCOs. • We propose two bi-level models based on the Principal–Agent theory. • Uncertainty associated with energy savings is incorporated in one of the models. • A performance-based payment scheme is generally more convenient for the regulator. • A mixed payment scheme is optimal when a lower level of uncertainty is tolerated
[en] Many countries have not yet successfully decoupled their growth and their energy consumption. Moreover, power production frequently entails a number of negative externalities, like greenhouse gas emissions from thermo electrical units. This situation has highlighted the need for countries to move towards sustainable economic growth. Accordingly, many countries have proposed and established measures to decrease their carbon emissions. In this line, the Chilean government has just passed a carbon tax of $5/Ton CO_2e. In this work, we compare the effects on reducing CO_2 emissions of this carbon tax and of some energy efficiency measures in the power sector. The results obtained indicate that the imposed carbon tax will produce an expected annual reduction in CO_2 emissions of 1% with respect to the estimated baseline during the 2014–2024 period. However, this reduction will be accompanied by an expected 3.4% increase in the marginal cost of power production on the main Chilean power system. In contrast, the introduction of some energy efficiency measures, aimed to reduce 2% of the power demand of the residential sector, could achieve larger reductions in CO_2 emissions, while simultaneously decreasing energy price. - Highlights: • We estimate CO_2 emission reductions due to a carbon tax and EE measures in Chile. • We simulate the main Chilean power system with diverse levels of carbon tax and EE. • Energy efficiency measures could achieve better results than carbon tax in Chile. • The carbon tax imposed in Chile reduces CO_2 emissions in 1% in the 2014–2024 period. • The carbon tax imposed in Chile increases system marginal cost in 3.4% in 2014–2024
[en] Several regional cap-and-trade (C and T) programs are considered or implemented in the United States to control greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. One concern is the possibility of emissions leakage due to a lack of coherence in the geographic scope of the regional electricity market and the C and T program. Leakage in the context of regulating CO2 emissions is defined as the short-run displacement of CO2 emissions from the capped region to other uncapped regions due to the imposition of a regional C and T scheme. However, the presence of transmission congestion could interact with regulations in an unanticipated way to determining whether leakage would occur and its magnitude if happens. In this paper, we use a two-node network to study the conditions under which the CO2 leakage would happen in a radial network under a C and T program. These conditions are related to transmission capacity, merit order change, and relative production cost between capped and uncapped regions. Since CO2 leakage would likely occur in a radial network during the time when there is surplus transmission capacity, if regional CO2 policies could influence power grid management and operations decisions, then there might be space for a better multi-objective coordination. - Highlights: ► We study conditions under which the CO2 leakage would happen under a C and T program. ► Conditions relate to transmission capacity, merit order change and production cost. ► Transmission congestion interacts with environmental regulations. ► CO2 leakage would likely occur when there is surplus transmission capacity. ► Power grid management and operations decisions should be carefully scrutinized.
[en] This paper examines the incentives that generation firms have in restructured electricity markets for supporting long-term transmission investments. In particular, we study whether generation firms, which arguably play a dominant role in the restructured electricity markets, have the incentives to fund or support incremental social-welfare-improving transmission investments. We examine this question in a two-node network and explore how such incentives are affected by the ownership of financial transmission rights (FTRs) by generation firms. In the analyzed two-node network, we show both (1) that the net exporter generation firm has the correct incentives to increase the transmission capacity incrementally up to a certain level and (2) that, although a policy that allocates FTRs to the net exporter generation firm can be desirable from a social point of view, such a policy would dilute the net-importer-generation-firm's incentives to support transmission expansion. Moreover, if all FTRs were allocated or auctioned off to the net exporter generation firm, then it is possible to increase both consumer surplus and social welfare while keeping the net exporter generation firm revenue neutral. (author)
[en] We can get an (energy efficiency) EE improvement if we produce a flatter daily load curve, leading to a higher efficiency of the power system, making better use of the generation and transport electricity chain, thus avoiding over-investment in equipment used just few hours a year. Tariff flexibility of the (Time of Use) TOU type is one of these measures. Generally, TOU systems are designed to minimize total system cost, which may cause losses in distribution companies (DISCOs), generating opposition. On the contrary, the present paper proposes a TOU system for electricity consumption in Chile where optimal prices are obtained in order to maximize total income of DISCOs. In this manner, the proposed TOU system is, by definition, beneficial for DISCOs and it may lead to a win–win situation among DISCOs and consumers. In particular, we show that such a system, implemented in a country like Chile, would allow for DISCOs a total potential benefit of 811.7 millions of dollars for the 3-year study period (2005–2007), considering initiatives that promote a 5% savings in real consumption during on-peak hours, obtained by the spread or difference between the proposed and the current systems. - Highlights: • We propose a TOU (Time of Use) system for electricity consumption in Chile. • In this system the optimal prices are obtained in order to maximize total income of (distribution companies) DISCOs. • The proposed TOU system may lead to a win–win situation among DISCOs and consumers. • This system, implemented in a country like Chile, would allow for DISCOs a total potential benefit of M$811.7. • Benefit obtained for 3-year study period with initiatives that promote 5% savings in real consumption during on-peak hours
[en] The growth of fossil fuel power production and the consequent increase in the level of carbon dioxide (CO_2) emissions have set off an alarm signal worldwide. Different policies have been implemented to incentivize the development of renewable energy sources with the goal of reducing CO_2 emissions. Notwithstanding the different policies contribute to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the incentives provided for renewable energy, a relevant question is which of these is the most efficient. However, within the context of oligopolistic competition, the answer is very sensitive to the operation of the system. In particular, significant changes in the results can be observed when considering or ignoring reserve constraints. - Highlights: • We study the performance of renewable-energy policies in reducing CO_2 emissions. • A relevant question is which renewable energy policy is the most cost-efficient. • Within oligopolistic competition, the answer is sensitive to the system operation. • Significant changes can be observed when considering or ignoring reserve constraints.
[en] This paper identifies some sustainable and technically feasible alternatives for electric exchange through interconnections among the electric systems of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. In particular, we assess such interconnections from both technical and economic perspectives, and identify the main technological, commercial and regulatory barriers for their development. The analysis is carried out at the pre-feasibility level from both private and social point of views, based on the assessment of different investment alternatives in the transmission systems among the aforementioned countries. We show that, even when keeping the security and self-sufficiency of the power system of every country (i.e., when not altering the generation expansion plans of the countries), the proposed interconnections have significant economic benefits in the long run. These benefits come from the supply side, the demand side, the system-cost savings and the environmental side. We also analyze the commercial and regulatory issues that must be addressed to accelerate the regional energy integration, and provide some policy recommendations. - Research Highlights: → This paper identifies some alternatives for electric exchange. → It considers interconnections among the power systems of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. → The proposed interconnections have significant economic benefits in the long run. → Benefits come from the supply side, demand side, system-cost savings and environmental side. → We also analyze the commercial and regulatory issues.