Essays on restructured electricity markets
Nicholson, Emma Leah.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Georgetown University, 2008.; Includes bibliographical references. This dissertation focuses on the performance of restructured electricity markets in the United States. In chapter 1, I study bidder-specific offer caps ("BSOCs") which are used to mitigate market power in three wholesale electricity markets. The price of electricity is determined through multi-unit uniform price auctions and BSOCs impose an upper limit, which is increasing in marginal cost, on each generator's bid. I apply BSOCs in both the uniform and discriminatory price auctions and characterize the equilibria in a two firm model with stochastic demand. BSOCs unambiguously increase expected production efficiency in the uniform price auction and they can increase the expected profit of the generator with the lower cap.; Chapter 2, coauthored with Ramteen Sioshansi, Ph.D., compares two types of uniform price auction formats used in wholesale electricity markets, centrally committed markets and self committed markets. In centrally committed markets, generators submit two-part bids consisting of a fixed startup cost and a variable (per MWh) energy cost, and the auctioneer ensures that no generator operates at a loss. Generators in self committed markets must incorporate their startup costs into their one part energy bids. We derive Nash equilibria for both the centrally and self committed electricity markets in a model with two symmetric generators with nonconvex costs and deterministic demand. Using a numerical example, we demonstrate that if the caps on the bid elements are chosen appropriately, the two market designs are equivalent in terms of generator revenues and settlement costs.; Regulators and prominent academic experts believe that electric restructuring polices have stifled investment in new generation capacity. In chapter 3 I seek to determine whether these fears are supported by empirical evidence. I examine both total investment in megawatts and the number of new investments across regions that adopted different electric restructuring policies to determine whether electric restructuring is associated with lower levels of investment in new generation capacity. The estimation results do not prove that total investment levels are lower in regions with restructured electric systems, but I cannot rule the possibility out.
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