Energie : papiers de recherche moissonnés (22/08/2019)

The electricity market design for decentralized flexibility sources / Zheng Xu. Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, July 2019, 32 p. (OIES Paper: EL 36) lien

In order to enable cost-effective renewable energy integration and realize decarbonization targets, the power system requires the efficient utilization of resources  on both sides of the market and not just on the supply side. This paper aims to deconstruct the complexity of electricity market design in light of the growing importance of  decentralized flexibility and related current developments.  The paper concludes that the aggregation of decentralized flexibility and its subsequent participation in the electricity market can help enable system reliability, with the help of explicit demand side management programs. Aggregators play a central role in enabling decentralized flexibility, as they have to actively demonstrate to system operators their ability to deliver the required services.  The evolution of a specific market for decentralized flexibility, however,  depends on existing market arrangements and the availability of resources.

The Canadian Oilsands and Strategic Approaches to Profitability / Nnaziri Ihejirika. Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Aug. 2019, 18 p. (Energy Insight: 56) lien

The Canadian oilsands resource has gone from being touted as energy security for North America to being derided as an energy-intensive form of oil extraction with no long-term future. New investment has been affected by the emergence of other unconventional oil sources, particularly light tight oil (LTO) in the United States. Environmental concerns have also weighed on the debate about the future of the oilsands. Compounding the threat, pipeline capacity has not kept pace with the growth in oilsands production, increasing the discount on Canadian oil relative to global benchmarks and applying downward pressure on operating profits. The focus of this Energy Insight will be on the levers within the control of oilsands firms, and how effectively they have been deployed to sustain profitability during this turbulent period. From a firm perspective, the oilsands industry largely remained profitable during the oil price collapse and moderate recovery. Strategies adopted by the companies to remain profitable include cost leadership, vertical integration or a combination of both. The data suggest that under a low price environment, cost leadership is the best strategy for oilsands segments to turn a profit, while vertical integration offered an opportunity for the wider company to remain profitable in all business environments, even if the oilsands segment incurred losses.

Seasonal Flexibility in the European Natural Gas Market / Iegor Riepin and Felix Müsgens. Cambridge, Energy Policy Research Group, Aug. 2019, 28 p. (EPRG Working Paper 1931) lien

The paper focuses on a seasonal demand swing in the European gas market. We quantify and compare the role of different flexibility options (domestic production, pipeline and LNG imports, and gas storages) in covering European demand fluctuations in monthly resolution. We contribute to the existing literature focusing on seasonal flexibility by addressing the problem with a mathematical gas market optimisation model. Empirically, our paper provides valuable insights with regard to declining North Western European gas production. Furthermore, we focus our discussion on specific flexibility features of pipeline versus LNG supplies and gas imports versus storage dispatch. In terms of methodology, we develop a bottom-up market optimisation model and publish the complete source code (which is still uncommon for gas market models). Furthermore, we propose a new metric based on the coefficient of variation to quantify the importance of supply sources for seasonal flexibility provision.

Competition in Markets for Ancillary Services? The implications of rising distributed generation / Michael G. Pollitt and Karim L. Anaya. Cambridge, Energy Policy Research Group, July 2019, 25 p. (EPRG Working Paper 1928) lien

Ancillary services are electricity products which include balancing energy, frequency regulation, voltage support, constraint management and reserves. Traditionally they have been procured by system operators from large conventional power plants, as by-products of the production of energy. This paper discusses the use of markets to procure ancillary services in the face of potentially higher demand for them, caused by rising amounts of intermittent renewable generation. We discuss: the nature of markets for ancillary services; what we really mean by ancillary services; how they are impacted by the rise of distributed generation; how they are currently procured; how they relate to the rest of the electricity system; the current state of evidence on ancillary services markets; whether these markets ever be as competitive as conventional wholesale energy markets, and offer some conclusions.

Saudi Arabia’s Next Oil Move / Bassam Fattouh and Andreas Economou. Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Aug. 209, 5 p. (Oxford energy comment) lien

The sharp decline in the Brent price to below $60/barrel and the weakening of the oil demand outlook due to the US-China trade war has brought to the fore the issue of Saudi Arabia’s next move. There have been multiple media reports indicating that Saudi Arabia would not tolerate the latest price slide and that the Kingdom has approached other OPEC members to discuss possible steps to arrest the decline in the oil price. To most analysts and investors, this signals that Saudi Arabia is willing to cut its output further to try to maintain a floor under the oil price regardless of the nature of shocks hitting the market…

Market Power Issues in Liberalized Wholesale Electricity Markets: A Review of the Literature with a Look into the Future / Thao Pham, Revue d’économie politique, vol. 129, n°3, 2019, pp. 325-354 lien

The two last centuries have witnessed an exceptional revolution in the organization of electric power sector worldwide, with the liberalization process transforming what had been a vertically-integrated monopoly subject to regulation into a market-based system. The shift to reliance on market prices raises a risk that some firms could exercise their market power. This paper examines a wide range of methods of detecting market power that have been employed by academics and regulators in the electricity sector. I show that many technical, economic, and regulatory factors render the exercise of market power particularly likely in these markets and make detecting it particularly challenging. Based on an analysis of strengths, weaknesses and popularity of each methodology, I provide several guidelines for future work on market power modeling. This has important implications for policy makers when identifying appropriate policies of market power mitigation and ensuring the functioning of the electricity system in this period of transition in Europe.

The Geopolitical Implications of Future Oil Demand / Paul Stevens. Chatham House, Aug. 2019, 42 p. (research paper) lien

The geopolitics of oil have played a central role in international relations. Some would argue that geopolitical rivalry over access to oil has been the source of much of the conflict in the 20th century. The rise of renewables in the current energy transition could well change this status quo.

Changer les comportements sans changer les modes de vie. Les impasses du tropisme technologique de la transition énergétique au Japon / Benoit Granier, Lien social et Politiques, (82), 27–51. https://doi.org/10.7202/1061875ar

Omniprésente dans les politiques publiques et les discours relatifs à l’énergie, la notion de transition énergétique a encore été assez peu problématisée par les sciences sociales. Dans la lignée des travaux récents consacrés en majorité à des cas européens, cet article propose une analyse originale portant sur la question du changement des comportements et des modes de vie dans la transition énergétique au Japon. L’archipel constitue un terrain d’étude fécond parce que la notion de transition y a suscité des traductions variées et des interprétations concurrentes depuis l’accident de Fukushima de mars 2011, mais aussi parce que la trajectoire japonaise partage de nombreux points communs avec celles de l’Allemagne et de la France notamment. En outre, comme dans bien d’autres pays, si la nécessité de changer les comportements et les modes de vie fait consensus, les conceptions de ce changement sont largement différentes selon les acteurs. Après avoir examiné les divergences en la matière, cet article montre que la transition énergétique conduite par l’État japonais se caractérise par un fort tropisme technologique, et par une vision peu ambitieuse du changement des comportements et des modes de vie. Par contraste avec les solutions de remplacement proposées par d’autres acteurs, le projet étatique se limite en effet à la réalisation d’économies d’énergie, à l’achat d’appareils efficients et d’autres dispositifs techniques, et à la participation des usagers à la gestion de l’énergie dans le cadre des réseaux électriques intelligents. En faisant l’impasse sur des changements plus ambitieux, ce choix repousse l’adoption de modes de vie plus sobres, perpétue de nombreuses pratiques énergivores et rend l’avenir du climat extrêmement dépendant des progrès technologiques.

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