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Organization of the electricity supply industry © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 0
Outline Traditional organization Reasons for change Actors in a deregulated environment Models of competition
Traditional electric utility model Monopoly – Only supplier of electricity in a given region (“service territory”) – Consumer does not have a choice of supplier Vertically integrated – A single organisation performs all the technical and business functions Generation Transmission Distribution Retail © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 2 Consumer
Variants on vertical integration Distribution + retail – Many municipal utilities – Rural electricity cooperatives Generation + transmission – Bonneville Power Administration Generation Transmission Distribution Retail © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 3 Consumer
Why monopolies? Building a power system is expensive Building competing transmission and distribution networks does not make sense Until recently having several companies “ share ” a power system was too complicated Monopoly can be: – Private (investor-owned utility) – Public (municipal, utility district, national) Size of service territories varies © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 4
Regulation A private monopoly could abuse its position – It must be regulated by the government Government-owned utilities operate for the public good – No need for outside regulation – Elect new representatives if we are not satisfied © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 5
The “Regulatory Compact” Agreement between an Investor Owned Utility (IOU) and a government IOU receives the right to be the monopoly supplier over a certain territory IOU accepts that its rates (i.e. what it can charge consumers) will be determined by a regulator – Example: Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 6
Rate of return regulation Regulator sets the rates so that the IOU can: – Recover its operating cost (fuel, personnel, etc…) – Recover its investments costs (plants, lines, etc…) – Pay a fair rate of return to its investors A monopoly utility is a low risk investment – No competition – A bankrupt utility is in nobody’s interest The rate of return can therefore be low compared to other investments © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 7
Problems with Private Monopolies Monopolies are inefficient – No competition – No need to be efficient to survive – No incentive to be efficient: Utility earns more if it invests more No penalty for building “ white elephants ” High costs passed on to consumers as high prices of electricity A bankrupt utility is in nobody ’ s interest Rates are “higher than they should be” © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 8
Could the regulators do better? Regulation is difficult – Little basis for comparison Each regulator oversees a small number of utilities Each utility has a territory with different characteristics – Difficult to evaluate the utilities ’ decisions Regulator does not have as much staff as the utility Information imbalance © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 9
Problems with Public Monopolies A good government will run its utilities in an efficient and far-sighted manner This is not always the case Government bodies are not always efficient either Conflicts can arise between the objectives of the government and the objectives of the utility © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 10
Things bad governments do… Keep rates low to please the voters – Utility does not have enough money for investments Keep rates high and use the surplus money for other programs – Inefficient taxation – Discourage consumption of electricity Force the utility to make unnecessary investments to create jobs © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 11
The “new” electricity supply model Privatization of public utilities – Not in the US – Primarily in Europe and South America “Unbundling” – Separate the different functions of the utility Introduce competition – Treat electrical energy (MWh) as a commodity – Create markets for trading this commodity – Energy transmission and distribution remain services provided by monopoly companies © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 12
Expected benefits of privatization Utility can focus on its mission If properly regulated: – Utility gets the revenues it needs – Price of electricity reflects its true cost – Optimal allocation of economic resources Access to private sector capital – Important in developing countries when government is short of money for investments Revenue from the sale of privatized assets © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 13
Expected benefits of unbundling Separation between the parts where competition is possible and those where a monopoly is needed: – Competition between generators – Monopoly for transmission and distribution More transparency in the the system Essential to create a fair market – An independent system operator will not favor one generator over another © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 14
Expected benefits of competition © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington15 Introduce competition Generators become more efficient Production cost decreases Competitive market Price to consumers decreases Economy benefits
(who are the characters in the play) Dramatis Personae © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington16
The old model Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net The Regulator The Utility The Customer (silent part) The Customer (silent part) © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington17
Customer (old model) 18 Data from National Grid (UK) © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington
Actors after full unbundling Generating companies Electricity retailers Consumers System operator Transmission owner Distribution company Market operator Regulator Note: Some of these functions are often combined © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 19
Generating companies Own and operate power generating plants Compete against each other to sell energy Competitive advantages – More efficient plants – Cheaper fuel – Higher plant availability © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 20
Retailers Buy electrical energy from the generators Sell electrical energy to consumers Do not own large physical assets Often owned by a generator or a distribution company Competitive advantages – Negotiate good price with generators – Identification of “ good ” customers – Efficient billing system © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 21
Consumers Small consumers – Residential or commercial consumers – Buy electricity from a retailer – Buy electricity on a tariff (i.e. fixed price) Large consumers – Industrial or large commercial consumers – May buy directly from the electricity market – May buy electricity at time-varying prices Expected to become increasingly active © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 22
Independent System Operator Operates the power system – Maintain load/generation balance – Maintain network security Must be independent from other participants to ensure fairness of market Owns only computing and communication assets © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 23
Transmission Network Owners Own and maintain transmission assets – Lines – Substations – DC lines Usually a regulated business – Revenues determined by the regulator based on the value of the assets © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 24
Distribution Network Companies Own and operate the distribution networks Regulated business – Revenues determined by the regulator based on the value of the assets © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 25
Market Operator Facilitate trading of electricity – Matches bids and offers submitted by buyers and sellers of electrical energy – Runs the market settlement system Monitors delivery of energy Forwards payments from buyers to sellers Requirements: – Fairness, independence – Efficient technology to support trading – Efficient settlement of trades © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 26
Regulator Oversees the operation of the electricity market Determines the allowed revenues of the monopolies (“wire companies”, i.e. transmission and distribution owners) Check that the wire companies maintain the quality of service Government body © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 27
New actors? Storage system operators Aggregators of demand response – Example: charging of electric vehicles ? © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 28
The Four Models of Competition © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington29
The four models of competition Monopoly Purchasing agency Wholesale competition Retail competition © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 30
Monopoly © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington31 Generation Transmission Distribution Retail Consumer
Purchasing Agent Own Generators IPP Distribution Customer Wholesale Purchasing Agent Wholesale Purchasing Agent IPP IPP: Independent Power Producer © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington32
Wholesale Competition Genco Customer Disco Customer Disco Customer Disco Customer Disco Genco Wholesale Market and Transmission Wires © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington33
Retail Competition Customer Retailer Genco Wholesale Market and Transmission Wires Retail Market and Distribution Wires © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington34
Typical re-bundling Distribution + retail Generation + transmission network owner Generation + retail System operator + market operator Transmission owner + distribution owner © 2012 D. Kirschen & University of Washington 35
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