Cross-Border Effects of Capacity Mechanisms: Do Uncoordinated Market Design Changes Contradict the Goals of the European Market Integration?

Bremen Energy Working Papers No. 17, June 2014

(published in Energy Economics, 51, 2015, 9–20)

Roland Meyer and Olga Gore

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This paper analyses cross-border effects of a strategic reserve (SR) and reliability options (ROs) based on a two-country simulation model. Using a game-theoretic approach, the countries' policy options for capacity remuneration mechanisms (CRMs) are analysed with respect to welfare and distribution effects. An SR tends to narrow down the market, while ROs intensify price competition. However, cross-border effects are most likely negative for consumers and producers in total in the case of a unilateral implementation of a CRM, and market design changes should be coordinated.

All results are strongly driven by possible changes in competition and market power. In practice, the market design decision should also consider possible regulatory failures that might lead to further market distortions. The risk of market design flaws seems larger for full capacity markets such as ROs than for an SR, which requires only minor adjustments to the market design.