In the Nordic electricity system there is considerable uncertainty with respect to the long-term development in production capacity. The process towards liberalisation of the electricity sector started in a situation with a large reserve margin, but this margin is gradually vanishing. Since the potential investors in new production capacity are unaccustomed with investments under the new regime, it is unknown if and when investments will take place. The electricity price is the key market signal to potential investors. The price is settled as a balance between supply and demand, and it is generally assumed that the demand side has an important role in this, and increasingly so. However, since consumers have not earlier had the incentive to respond to electricity prices, no reliable estimate of demand elasticity is known. The purpose of the present study is to analyse the role of electricity demand elasticity for investments in new electricity production capacity. Electricity price scenarios generated with a partial equilibrium model (Balmorel) are combined with a model of investment decisions. In this, various scenarios concerning the development in the demand elasticity are used. The simulated investment decisions are taken in a stochastic, dynamic setting, where a key point is the timing of the investment decision in relation to the gathering of new information relative to the stochastic elements. Based on this, the consequences of the development in consumer price elasticity for investments in a base load and a peak load plant are investigated. The main result of the analysis is that peak load investments can be made unprofitable by the development in consumer price elasticity, such that an investor will tend to wait with his peak load investment until the development in consumer price elasticity has been revealed.
|Title of host publication||Demand Response in Energy Markets|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|