Fundamentals of Power System Economics

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Interest in power systems economics is gaining momentum with therecent power supply shortages in America and the rising cost offossil fuels. The involvement of independent power generators,brokers and distributors has changed the way in which power systemsoperate. Kirschen and Strbac use a combination of traditionalengineering techniques and fundamental economics to address thelong-term problems of power system development in a competitiveenvironment. Power system engineers, operators, planners and policymakers working in the deregulated environment will value thispractical guide, also of great interest to postgraduate andadvanced undergraduate students in electrical and powerengineering. * Outlines the principles of competitive electricity marketsalongside the operation and development of the supportingtransmission and distribution networks * Applies basic economic principles to power system operating andplanning * Written by recognised experts in the field For further information and to register for the solutionsmanual visit:


Daniel Kirschen; Daniel Kirschen joined the University of Washington in 2011 after spending 16 years at the University of Manchester - previously UMIST - where he was head of the Electrical Energy and Power Systems research group.

The introduction of competition into the electricity supply industry has fundamentally changed the way it works. In light of these changes this book provides a clear and comprehensive explanation of the basic principles underpinning the design and operation of modern competitive electricity markets.

Assuming no prior knowledge of economics, Fundamentals of Power System Economics discusses the organization of markets for electrical energy as well as the operational and investment decisions that companies participating in these markets must make.

Features include:

  • An introduction to the relevant microeconomics concepts and the theory of the firm.
  • An introduction to the organisation and operation of electricity markets.
  • A clear explanation of the concepts of system security and of the markets for ancillary services.
  • A lucid treatment of the effect of network congestion on electricity markets, including a detailed discussion of locational marginal pricing.
  • A tutorial treatment of the issues surrounding investment in generation and transmission.
  • Numerous illustrative examples.
This is a book written by engineers, primarily for engineers, and has been designed in a textbook style with a problem and answer section at the end of each chapter to aid learning. The accessible tutorial style makes this book essential reading for both postgraduate and undergraduate students, professors and practicing engineers alike.


1. Introduction.

1. Why Competition?

2. Dramatis Personae.

3. Models of Competition.

4. Open Questions.

5. Further Reading.

6. Problems.

2. Basic Concepts from Economics.

1. Introduction.

2. Fundamentals of Markets.

3. Concepts from the Theory of the Firm.

4. Types of Markets.

5. Markets with Imperfect Competition.

6. Further Reading.

7. Problems.

3. Markets for Electrical Energy.

1. Introduction.

2. What is the Difference between a Megawatt-hour and a Barrel of Oil?

3. The Need for a Managed Spot Market.

4. Open Electrical Energy Markets.

5. The Managed Spot Market.

6. The Settlement Process.

7. Further Reading.

8. Problems.

4. Participating in Markets for Electrical Energy.

1. Introduction.

2. The Consumer's Perspective.

3. The Producer's Perspective.

4. Perspective of Plants with Very Low Marginal Costs.

5. The Hybrid Participant's Perspective.

6. Further Reading.

7. Problems.

5. System Security and Ancillary Services.

1. Introduction.

2. Describing the needs.

3. Obtaining Ancillary Services.

4. Buying Ancillary Services.

5. Selling Ancillary Services.

6. Further Reading.

7. Problems.

6. Transmission Networks and Electricity Markets.

1. Introduction.

2. Decentralized Trading over a Transmission Network.

3. Centralized Trading over a Transmission Network.

4. Further Reading.

5. Problems.

7. Investing in Generation.

1. Introduction.

2. Generation Capacity from an Investor's Perspective.

3. Generation Capacity from a Customer's Perspective.

4. Further Reading.

5. Problems.

8. Investing in Transmission.

1. Introduction.

2. The Nature of the Transmission Business.

3. Cost-based Transmission Expansion.

4. Value-based Transmission Expansion.

5. Further Reading.

6. Problems.

Appendix: Answers to Selected Problems.

Abbreviations and Acronyms.


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Fundamentals of Power System Economics
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