Assessing distorted trading incentives of balance responsible parties based on the example of the Swiss power system

Faculty/Professorship: Information Systems and Energy Efficient Systems  
Author(s): Scherer, Marc; Haubensak, Oliver; Staake, Thorsten
Title of the Journal: Energy policy : the international journal of the political, economic, planning, environmental and social aspects of energy
ISSN: 0301-4215
Corporate Body: Elsevier
Publisher Information: Amsterdam [u.a.] : Elsevier Science
Year of publication: 2015
Volume: 86
Issue: November 2015
Pages: 792-801
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.08.025
Power systems require a continuous balance of supply and demand. In Europe, this task is shared between Balance Responsible Parties (BRPs) and Transmission System Operators (TSOs). For this purpose, the European electricity sector consists of several markets. Objective of this paper is to investigate distorted incentives that stem from loopholes in the market design which BRPs can use to undermine electricity balancing principles in favour of gaming opportunities between the domestic imbalance energy pricing and international wholesale markets. These incentives are evaluated using historical data from the Swiss power system which features a typical European imbalance pricing mechanism. The results imply that little effort would have been needed to make a good profit at the expense of system security. The major loophole arises from the interdependence between cross-border trading and national imbalance energy pricing. Bearing in mind the European Union's Third Energy Package, the importance of national balancing mechanisms will increase strongly. In this context, national remedies to cope with distorted incentives are outlined and the importance of harmonising balancing markets on an international level is elaborated.
Keywords: Electricity balancing, Balance responsible parties, Imbalance energy pricing
Type: Article
Year of publication: 23. May 2016