The Impact of Short-Term Pricing on Flexible Generation Investments in Electricity Markets
Nicolás Figueroa; Cristian Villalobos; Matías Negrete; Álvaro Lorca y Daniel Olivares
Energy Economics, June 2021. Volume 98
Abstract: The massive growth in the integration of variable renewable energy sources is producing several challenges in the operation of power systems and its associated markets. In this context, flexibility has become a critical attribute to allow the system to react to changes in generation or demand levels. Thus, it is critical for market signals at both short and long term scales to include flexibility features, to align agents’ incentives with systemic flexibility requirements. In this paper, different pricing schemes for short-term markets are studied, based on various relaxations of the unit commitment problem, including convex-hull approximations, with the aim of representing operational flexibility requirements in a more explicit way. Extensive simulations illustrate the performance of the proposed schemes, as compared to conventional ones, in terms of the capability of the system to properly incentivize flexibility attributes, resulting in better agents’ cost recovery and more variable renewable energy utilization. The results show that short-term pricing schemes considered improve the long-term signals for flexible investments but additional changes to market design are still required. Thus, there is a need to revisit historical practices for pricing rules by incorporating additional flexibility-related attributes into them. Several alternatives are discussed and policy recommendations based on these considerations are provided.
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