The integration of national electricity markets into a single European one is expected to reduce the ability of dominant players to exercise market power. This paper investigates whether or not existing transmission capacities of cross-border interconnectors are sufficient to achieve this result and create vigorous competition in the market. A model with two decision levels is used. On the first level profit maximizing generators play Cournot game against each other. On the last level the system operator clears the market and determines flows in the network to maximize social welfare subject to a set of physical constraints. As each strategic generator anticipates her impact on equilibrium prices and congestion in the system, her optimization problem is subject to equilibrium constraints from the system operator's problem.The analysis demonstrates that interconnector capacities in Western Europe are insufficient for integration alone to reduce the exercise of market power. I compare several possible competition-enhancing policies: expansion of interconnectors and different scenarios of national markets’ restructuring. I show that although increase of line capacity is a useful tool to stimulate competition in an integrated market, it is not a substitute for the restructuring of large players.
Energy Policy – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2016
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