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Journal Article / Electricity

The electricity capacity adequacy problem: Assessing dynamic effects of capacity remuneration mechanisms

Author(s): HARY Nicolas, RIOUS Vincent, SAGUAN Marcelo

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ABSTRACT

Following liberalization reforms, the ability of power markets to provide satisfactory incentives for capacity investments has become a major concern. In particular, current energy markets can exhibit a phenomenon of investment cycles, which generate phases of under and over-capacity, and hence additional costs and risks for generation adequacy. To cope with these issues, new mechanisms, called capacity remuneration mechanisms (CRM), have been (or will be) implemented. This paper assesses the dynamic effects of two CRMs, the capacity market and the strategic reserve mechanism, and studies to what extent they can reduce the investment cycles. Generation costs and shortage costs of both mechanisms are also compared to conclude on their effectivity and economic efficiency. A simulation model, based on system dynamics, is developed to study the functioning of both CRMs and the related investment decisions. The results highlight the benefits of deploying CRMs to solve the adequacy issue: shortages are strongly reduced compared to an energy-only market. Besides, the capacity market appears to be more beneficial, since it experiences fewer shortages and generation costs are lower. These comparisons can be used by policy makers (in particular in Europe, where these two CRMs are mainly debated) to determine which CRM to adopt.