Groupe d’études et de recherche en analyse des décisions


Impact of some Parameters on Investments in Oligopolistic Electricity Markets

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It is seldom the case that one has the opportunity to compare investments as projected by a long-term multi-period model to what is eventually realized in practice. Further, although sensitivity analysis is of common use in any optimization setting, the impact of some parameters on strategic investments is not yet fully assessed in the context of the deregulated electricity industry. Starting with a benchmark model of the Finnish industry, we precisely explore the impact on equilibrium investments of varying such parameters as direct- and cross-price elasticities, length of the planning horizon and the depreciation rate of capacity. We run the model with different parameter values and compare the predicted equilibrium with what companies have actually done. The model is a stochastic dynamic game involving three players and played over a ten-year period.

Our results show the depreciation rate and the planning horizon have a notable effect on investment levels, whereas price elasticities seem to play a lesser role. Although the model's results are rather well aligned to total industry investments, it diverges from individual levels. This may be due to the cost parameter used and/or to the open-loop information structure adopted in the computations. In any event, these results should be of methodological and practical interest to scholars and practitioners involved in strategic investment in the electricity industry.

, 23 pages