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ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Kiel, Hamburg
Contracts for differences are widely discussed as a cornerstone of Europe’s future electricity market design. This is a paper on CfD contract design. We summarize the dispatch and investment distortions that conventional CfDs cause, the patches that are used to overcome these shortcomings, and the problems these fixes introduce. We then propose an alternative contract that we dub “financial” CfD. It is a hybrid between conventional CfDs and forward contracts that mitigates revenue risk to a very large degree while providing undistorted incentives and avoiding margin calls. Like traditional CfDs, these contracts are long-term and tailored to technology-specific (wind, solar, nuclear) generation patterns but, like forwards, decouple payments from actual generation. We also propose to mitigate volume risk and to accept physical assets as collateral to avoid margin calls.
renewable energy
contracts for differences
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*** Final Published Version Available *** : Ingmar Schlecht, Christoph Maurer and Lion Hirth (2024): "Financial contracts for differences: The problems with conventional CfDs in electricity markets and how forward contracts can help solve them", Energy Policy, Volume 186 (March 2024), Article No. 113981,
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