Electricity auctions: an overview of efficient practices

Electricity auctions : an overview of efficient practices

Book – 2011 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, 2011

This report assesses the potential of electricity contract auctions as a procurement option for the World Bank’s client countries. It focuses on the role of auctions of electricity contracts designed to expand and retain existing generation capacity. It is not meant to be a ‘how-to’ manual. Rather, it highlights some major issues and options that need to be taken into account when a country considers moving towards competitive electricity procurement through the introduction of electricity auctions. Auctions have played an important role in the effort to match supply and demand. Ever since the 1990s, the use of long-term contract auctions to procure new generation capacity, notably from private sector suppliers, has garnered increased affection from investors, governments, and multilateral agencies in general, as a means to achieve a competitive and transparent procurement process while providing certainty of supply for the medium to long term. However, the liberalization of electricity markets and the move from single-buyer procurement models increased the nature of the challenge facing system planners in their efforts to ensure an adequate and secure supply of electricity in the future at the best price. While auctions as general propositions are a means to match supply with demand in a cost-effective manner, they can also be and have been used to meet a variety of goals.