Guide From Regulation to Competition: New frontiers in electricity markets

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Goulburn-Murray Water retained Frontier Australia to undertake an independent review of its pricing methodologies and models. Regulation of wholesale mobile voice terminating services to continue Frontier Economics. Frontier Economics. Economic and regulatory barriers to cost-effective water recycling Frontier Economics.

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Constructive Criticism Frontier Economics. Australian regulator determines Victorian electricity prices Frontier Economics. The studies were published between and Table 6 distinguishes the studies according to the country or region investigated and the base year analyzed. Consideration is also given to which interruption scenarios were assumed in the studies and what methods were used to calculate VoLL. Finally, the table shows the areas on which the respective studies focused.

The determination of VoLL is, thus, an issue that has been considered and explored in an international context. However, a regional cluster is clearly visible. Germany takes first place with six studies followed by Austria, the Netherlands, and Ireland with two each. From the studies relating to Germany, it can be concluded that the motivation for the analyses is the increasing integration of RES into the energy system.

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Fourteen studies were published during this period, but only seven from to This trend can also be explained by the significant increase in the expansion of RES in recent years for example, all the studies on Germany were published after , which leads to power outages being increasingly regarded as a real danger. A comparison of the scenario frameworks shows that different degrees of consideration were given to the factors influencing a power outage Table 1. This is particularly apparent in the assumed duration of the interruption.

The periods analyzed range from a few seconds to 3 days. Considerable differences can be seen in the depth of the sectoral differentiation of the industrial sectors. For example, Tol differentiates 19 industrial sectors whereas Baarsma and Hop regard industry as one overall sector.


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  • The following figures show the results of the VoLL studies from Table 6 , broken down according to methodology applied and end-user group industrial and commercial end users in Figure 2 and private end users in Figure 3. Due to the different degrees of differentiation, the VoLL results of the studies are shown as ranges. This could be due, for example, to the different industrial structures in the individual countries.

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    These ranges for the industrial and commercial sectors are therefore high. The large differences between the VoLL values for individual countries or groups of countries are also striking. In this case as well, structural differences, such as country-specific industrial structures and differences in salary level, may provide an explanation. The VoLL for industrial and commercial end users tends to be considerably higher than that for private end users.

    In the studies examined here, there are great differences between the results obtained by the different methods. An obvious explanation is the fact that the results of the studies shown here were determined by two fundamentally different methodological approaches macroeconomic vs. It is striking that the average VoLL values for private electricity customers in studies whose results are calculated using the macroeconomic approach are appreciably higher than those in studies based on the WTP approach.

    For industry and commerce, in contrast, the VoLL results based on the WTP method considerably exceed those obtained on the basis of macroeconomic approaches. Nevertheless, these explanations can only justify some of the differences. Upon closer consideration, it becomes apparent that, for example, the studies by Praktiknjo et al.

    Another explanation can, therefore, be found in the differences in the more detailed methodological structure of the studies. In this respect, two essential factors have an impact. First, the consideration and weighting of the technical factors from Table 1 play a major role. If different assumptions are made in structuring the framework of the scenario, for instance about the duration or the regional location of the blackout [in the present case, Praktiknjo et al. Second, the subdivision of the industrial sectors influences the resulting VoLL values.

    If the economy as a whole is considered, then VoLL represents a mean. The more extensively the economy is broken down, the more differentiated the VoLL values, and the ranges tend to increase. In summary, apart from the typical structural features of the income and industrial structures of the countries, three fundamental influences can be identified:.

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    According to definition, VoLL is determined by relating the monetary damage arising from a power interruption due to the loss of economic activities to the level of the kWh that are not supplied during an interruption. A general criticism is that the definition of VoLL is so all-embracing that it can be used to justify a large number of different procedures. This reduces the informative value of VoLL considerably since the results cannot be integrated into a larger context by means of comparisons and, thus, it is only possible to represent individual cases.

    Consequently, a uniform framework as a basis for comparison makes an important contribution to improving this indicator enabling it to provide more informative value on an international level. This requires clearly defined specifications. Technical indices that map power supply security, such as SAIDI, are subject to clearly defined criteria and, thus, fulfill these conditions. The following procedure is proposed in order to develop a uniform framework for determining VoLL. First of all, as an essential prerequisite, it must be ensured that one single method is employed macroeconomic or WTP.

    In the next step, the framework of the outage must be clearly defined, i. And in a third step, the breakdown of the industrial sectors must be coordinated both with respect to their delimitation and also the degree of differentiation. The clarification of the general analytical framework ensures a uniform and harmonized procedure, thus, providing the basis for international comparability. The VoLL determined on this basis offers the opportunity to place the individual results in an international context and also to consider them over time.

    The realistic nature of the VoLL determined in this way can be increased even further by integrating damage-aggravating factors e.

    However, the integration of such factors leads to a reduction in international comparability since the inclusion of such factors requires a solid data basis that in many cases cannot be supplied or only in part by official statistical offices and is, thus, frequently not accessible. This context reveals the problems associated with deciding on a focus, i.

    Since VoLL is completely lacking in international comparability, a uniform analytical framework is urgently required. As soon as this common basis has been created, further steps should be taken to clarify which damage-aggravating and which damage-mitigating influences can be integrated — while maintaining international comparability.

    However, this still requires extensive discussions both with respect to the methodological approach and also to harmonizing the data basis. The review and analysis of 21 studies on the VoLL published in the past 10 years revealed four different aspects that have a fundamental influence on the calculated VoLL. Country-specific features are of particular significance in identifying the results but cannot be varied for the analysis.

    The three other factors that can affect the VoLL calculation are the choice of method, the structuring of the scenario framework, and the breakdown of the industrial structure by data processing. The different weighting of these aspects is responsible for the large range of VoLL in the results of the analyzed studies. Overall, the analysis of recent VoLL studies has shown that, according to the present state of the art, VoLL is only capable of mapping one individual case as an economic evaluation index of power supply security, and the respective results must be considered and assessed against the background of the analytical framework.

    The informative value of these results is not sufficient for comparisons with the results of other studies. If VoLL can be determined according to a uniformly defined procedure, it may become a decisive factor on which decisions for and against investments for grid optimization and expansion may be based.

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    Furthermore, VoLL may also become extremely important for location decisions on the part of companies. Regions with high blackout probabilities and costs are less attractive for companies to retain existing or establish new operations. Moreover, VoLL could help to ensure an optimum distribution to end users of the remaining electricity in the case of a power outage, as far as this is possible with the technical options available.