Strand Lead: Dr Seán Lyons
Electricity markets are complex and subject to detailed public policies and regulation. Policy and regulatory objectives include control of market power, ensuring there is continuity of service and adequate capacity, protecting consumers and improving environmental sustainability. This strand includes empirical and theoretical research into many aspects of energy markets and regulatory measures.
One element of our research programme relies on market simulation models such as Plexos and FAST. In particular, researchers are looking at the likely effects on market outcomes of extra wind generation and interconnection, appropriate incentives for flexibility and options for reform of the SEM to adopt the European Target Model while limiting market power and providing appropriate investment and flexibility incentives. The implications for prices, profits, security of supply and emissions are being investigated.
Simulation-based research is complemented by inductive empirical methods, particularly econometric modelling. Current research using these techniques focuses on how increasing interconnection capacity and wind generation affect prices and other outcomes in existing markets.
Analytical methods are also being used in this strand, including option modelling of timing for large thermal plant investments and the optimal structure of renewable energy feed-in tariffs. Finally, we are interested in how institutions in Ireland and other OECD countries affect incentives and outcomes in energy markets. Topics in this area include how national regulatory institutions affect overall market performance and how planning and building standards can be designed to give efficient signals for investment in energy-related technologies.