Impact of Wind, Solar, and Other Factors on Wholesale Power Prices: An Historical Analysis—2008 through 2017

Impact of Wind, Solar, and Other Factors on Wholesale Power Prices: An Historical Analysis—2008 through 2017

TitleImpact of Wind, Solar, and Other Factors on Wholesale Power Prices: An Historical Analysis—2008 through 2017
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsAndrew D Mills, Dev Millstein, Ryan H Wiser, Joachim Seel, Juan Pablo Carvallo, Seongeun Jeong, Will Gorman
Date Published11/2019
Abstract

Wholesale power markets have evolved. Some of the most prominent changes over the last decade in the United States include growth in wind and solar, a reduction in the price of natural gas, weakened load growth, and an increase in the retirement of thermal power plants. Here we empirically assess the degree to which wind and solar—among other factors—have influenced wholesale electricity prices. We show that wind and solar have contributed to reductions in overall average annual wholesale electricity prices since 2008, but that natural gas prices have had the largest impact. More notable is that expansion of variable renewable energy has led to significant changes in locational, time of day, and seasonal pricing patterns in some regions. These altered pricing patterns reflect a fundamental shift, and hold important implications for the grid-system value of wind and solar, and for other electric-sector planning and operating decisions.

Notes

A data visualization of Wholesale Electricity Market Price Drivers can be viewed here. A webinar recorded on December 3, 2019, can be viewed here