ACC 2012 Tutorial
The talk will review the many services needed in today's grid, and those that will be more important in the future. It will also review recent competitive equilibrium theory for the highly dynamic markets that may emerge in tomorrow's grid. In particular, to combat volatility from increasing penetration of renewable energy resources, there will be greater need for regulation services at various time-scales. There is enormous potential to secure these ancillary services via demand response. However, there is an obsession today with the promotion of real time prices to incentivize demand response. All evidence strongly suggests that this is a bad idea: 1) In 2011, massive price swings in the real-time market generated anger in Texas and New Zealand 2) Our own research shows that this is to be expected: in a completive equilibrium real-time prices will reach the choke up price (which was recently estimated at 1/4 million dollars). With transmission constraints, our research concludes that prices can go much higher. 3) A recent EIA study shows that consumers are scared of smart meters - they do not trust utility companies to experiment with their meters, or their power bills. We must then ask, is there any motivation to focus on markets in a real-time setting? The speaker believes there is none. Explanations will be given, and alternative visions will be proposed.