Studie over de elektriciteitsmarkten in Europa
The European Commission published a study which finds that fuel costs have contributed to the increase of EU electricity prices since 2003, but that wholesale electricity prices are significantly higher than would be expected on perfectly competitive markets. The differences are highest when only a few generators with available capacity are needed to meet demand, especially at peak time. The results of the study broadly support the conclusions of the Commission's Final Report of the Energy Sector Competition Inquiry, namely that competition in EU wholesale electricity markets is not yet functioning properly.
The study carried out a detailed analysis of the wholesale electricity markets of amongst others Belgium for the period 2003 to 2005. The study consists of three parts.
The first part of the study looks at how many operators are effectively competing on the market on an hourly basis. The study confirms the findings of the Sector Inquiry that most markets are concentrated whatever the measurement adopted.
The second part of the study reports on the difference between what the price of the market was in the period and what it would have been if the markets in Germany, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom had been perfectly competitive. This difference was calculated by simulating a perfectly competitive market for each hour of the period.
No conclusions are drawn for Belgium as a reliable market price is absent for Belgium.
The third part of the study looks at the relationship between the number of operators competing at a given time and the "mark-ups". It does this by submitting the results of the two first parts to a detailed regression analysis on an hourly basis. This analysis shows that there is a statistically relevant correlation between the numbers of generators who have spare capacity and the mark-ups in each hour: in other words, the more needed generators are, the higher the mark-ups in the market become. The third part of the report also compares the level of production of the main generators during the period to what it would have been under perfect competition: differences between operators are significant, and some operators seem to have not made full use of their generation capacity.