Forward-looking distribution network charges considering lumpy investments
Publication typeJournal article with impact factor
JournalJournal of Regulatory Economics
Publication Begin page280
Publication End page302
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractMany regulators are pushing for more cost-reflective distribution network charges to inform end users of the grid infrastructure costs their behavior causes. Since future investment costs can be avoided by reducing simultaneous peak loads, forward-looking, coincident peak charges are often proposed. Under the assumption of convex network costs, it has been shown that optimal charges signal long-run marginal network costs, triggering an optimal trade-off between network expansion and peak load reduction. In practice, however, network investments are lumpy, requiring engineering methods to estimate ill-defined marginal costs based on long-term peak demand forecasts. In this paper, we derive the optimal forward-looking network charge set by a social welfare maximizing regulator, endogenously considering investment lumpiness and uncertain consumer demand. While the optimal tariff still equals marginal network costs in essence, it now depends on a multitude of network- and demand-related parameters. Our results demonstrate that forward-looking network charges require accurate information on willingness to pay for peak demand, which currently is typically unknown to regulators.
Knowledge Domain/IndustrySpecial Industries : Energy