Power System Economics: Designing Markets for Electricity

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9780471150404: Power System Economics: Designing Markets for Electricity
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The first systematic presentation of electricity market design-from the basics to the cutting edge. Unique in its breadth and depth. Using examples and focusing on fundamentals, it clarifies long misunderstood issues-such as why today's markets are inherently unstable. The book reveals for the first time how uncoordinated regulatory and engineering policies cause boom-bust investment swings and provides guidance and tools for fixing broken markets. It also takes a provocative look at the operation of pools and power exchanges.
* Part 1 introduces key economic, engineering and market design concepts.
* Part 2 links short-run reliability policies with long-run investment problems.
* Part 3 examines classic designs for day-ahead and real-time markets.
* Part 4 covers market power, and
* Part 5 covers locational pricing, transmission right and pricing losses.
The non-technical introductions to all chapters allow easy access to the most difficult topics. Steering an independent course between ideological extremes, it provides background material for engineers, economists, regulators and lawyers alike. With nearly 250 figures, tables, side bars, and concisely-stated results and fallacies, the 44 chapters cover such essential topics as auctions, fixed-cost recovery from marginal cost, pricing fallacies, real and reactive power flows, Cournot competition, installed capacity markets, HHIs, the Lerner index and price caps.

About the Author
Steven Stoft has a Ph.D. in economics (U.C. Berkeley) as well as a background in physics, math, engineering, and astronomy. He spent a year inside FERC and now consults for PJM, California and private generators. Learn more at www.stoft.com.

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From the Author:

How a Basic Book Came to Provide Cutting Edge Tools
Steven Stoft
(steven@stoft.com), April 22, 2002.
The economics of power systems differs from that of other markets in appearance and in reality. But appearances deceive and produce false new economic theories—e.g., competitive pricing cannot pay the cost of power plants. The real differences lie hidden and allow a blind faith that "the market" will solve all problems—e.g., provide a reliable level of generation capacity.

I began the book knowing that much of this confusion could be cleared up by stripping away apparent differences to show that power markets usually work like normal markets. Economics does not need re-writing, only careful application. But power systems present some genuine puzzles.

Applying basic economics to apparent differences leads to familiar results. I have presented these results simply along with examples for the uninitiated. The same approach leads to surprising results when applied to real differences. For example, the demand side of today’s power markets is quantitatively so different from standard text-book markets that it produces an unusual type of market failure. Part 2 of the book reveals how the lack of coordination between engineers and regulators, in controlling this failure, produces the headline-grabbing price spikes characteristic of current markets.

Part 3 analyzes day-ahead and real-time markets but also asks fundamental questions about the need for complex pools. Are their calculations subverted by the bids of speculators? Observations of Eastern pools suggest power-market design is still in its early stages. This book provides a simple yet solid foundation, diagnoses the problems that now threaten the existence of deregulated markets, and provides tools to help make repairs.

From the Inside Flap:

An Introduction to the Fundamental Economics of Power Market Design and Analysis

Power System Economics is the first systematic presentation of power-market design principles from economic theory to market architecture. The approach is pragmatic, and the discussion illustrates economic and engineering fundamentals with simple examples. The volume breaks new ground in its analysis of price spikes, market-based unit commitment, and the prediction of market power.

Power System Economics includes five parts. Part 1 introduces key economic, engineering, and market design concepts. Part 2 explains how short-run reliability policies determine long-run average installed capacity and reliability. Part 3 examines classic designs for day-ahead and real-time markets. Part 4 covers market power, and Part 5 covers the effect of networks on prices. Topics include:

* How marginal-cost prices cover fixed costs
* Fundamentals of auction design
* The value of lost load (VOLL) as a price cap: theory versus practice
* Price limits, price spikes, investment, and reliability
* Standard market designs, including PJM
* Power pools versus power exchanges
* Market power fallacies and the HHI
* Losses pricing and congestion pricing

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