The Regulation of Power Exchanges in Europe

François Boisseleau, Martha Roggenkamp

The electricity sector worldwide is undergoing a fundamental transformation of its institutional structure as a consequence of the complex interactions of political, economic and technological forces. The way the industry is organized is changing from vertically integrated monopolies to unbundled structures that favor market mechanisms. This process in Europe, known as the liberalization process, has had a wide impact on the European electricity industry. The focus of this dissertation is an analysis of the role of electricity power exchanges in the recently liberalized electricity markets of Europe. In the context of creating ’a’ competitive electricity market at a European level, the key questions considered are the functioning of these power exchanges with respect to electricity characteristics, market design and regulatory framework. In Europe, very little attention has been paid to the role of these new marketplaces and to the issue of market design in general. Hence the main purpose of this work was to analyze how these marketplaces facilitate the trading of electricity and the role they can play in the construction of a pan-European competitive electricity market. An analysis of power exchange requires taking into account the ’double-duality’ of such institutions. One, power exchanges are both a market and an institution. As a market they facilitate the trading of electricity and determine an equilibrium price. As an institution power exchanges have their own objectives and constraints, and play a role in the market design of the overall electricity market. Two, the relationship between electricity power exchanges and liberalization is neither linear nor one way: liberalization encourages the birth of such marketplaces yet marketplaces are more than the results of such process, they are also a driving force of the liberalization process.