Full Title: Why the Sustainable Provision of Low-Carbon Electricity Needs Hybrid Markets
Author(s): Jan Horst Keppler, Simon Quemin, and Marcelo Saguan
Publisher(s): Energy Policy
Publication Date: October 5, 2022
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Deep decarbonization of energy systems poses considerable challenges to electricity markets and there is a growing consensus that an energy-only design based on short-term marginal cost pricing cannot deliver adequate levels of investment and long-term coordination across actors and sectors. Based on the instructive example of the evolution of European electricity market designs, we discuss several shortcomings of energy-only markets and illustrate how ad-hoc policies that intend to address them have limitations of their own, notably a lack of systemwide coordination. Second, we describe how the sheer scale and nature of deep decarbonization targets requiring massive investment in capital-intensive low-carbon technologies exacerbate these issues. Ambitious emission reduction targets thus require an evolution of market design towards hybrid regimes. Hybrid markets separate long-term investment decisions from short-term operations through a balanced and differentiated use of competitive and regulatory design elements to coordinate and de-risk investment. Finally, a historical analysis of the evolution of different electricity market designs shows how hybrid markets constitute contemporary forms of long-run marginal cost pricing that are appropriate for meeting deep decarbonization targets with reduced uncertainty and hence lower private and social costs.