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The impact of variable renewable energy penetration on wholesale electricity prices in Japan

Sakaguchi, Makishi and Fujii, Hidemichi (2021): The impact of variable renewable energy penetration on wholesale electricity prices in Japan.

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Abstract

The merit order effect (MOE), which renewable energy sources can decrease wholesale electricity prices, plays an important role in establishing low-carbon societies. After the liberalization of the electricity market, the trade volume of the Japan Electric Power Exchange (JEPX) day-ahead spot market drastically increased between 2016 and 2019; however, price spikes still occur often. Ordinary least squares and quantile regression analyses were applied in this study to investigate how wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) energy generation affect the JEPX day-ahead spot price by time, price range, and area, and we concluded that the MOE of wind increased between 2016 and 2019 while that of PV decreased during this time. In regard to the high price ranges, although wind generation is not significant in terms of reducing price spikes, PV had this effect in 2016 and 2017 but not during the other years covered. The study area was divided into four regions, and each area followed trends that were different from those of the national analysis. Overall, the key finding of our study is that wind power has more potential to reduce electricity prices than PV.

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