The question how to ensure capacity becomes more pressing, where-ever intermittent electricity generation makes up a considerable ratio of the mix.
Now there are two governments who have made a decision how to react:

"[The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT)] decided to raise ERCOT’s offer cap from the current $4,500/MWh – the highest of any organized market in the US – to $5,000 in June 2013, $7,000 in June 2014, and $9,000 in June 2015. (...) Offer cap, of course, is the maximum amount that generators can bid in the wholesale auction. The higher the offer cap, the more money generators, especially those with flexible peaking units, typically natural gas-fired plants, can make during those few hours when they are dispatched. This has been identified among the factors prohibiting more investment in new peaking generation, resulting in the dreaded resource adequacy and dangerously low reserve margins predicted by ERCOT."

"Concerned about having sufficient capacity during periods of high demand, the French government is introducing a decree that would require electricity suppliers to buy and pay for peak load capacity from the end of 2013. The obligatory certificates would have to match their forecast needs 3 years in advance. The scheme is intended to discourage the closures of uneconomical plants and encourage generators to construct new flexible plants that can be easily turned on and off. (...) The main challenge in France is not lack of capacity per se, but rather lack of flexible capacity. "

"[Texas'] decision to stick to its energy-only market was hailed by pure energy-only market enthusiasts. The move by France to introduce a capacity scheme, likely to be adopted by Germany and possibly others, suggests that the debate about the virtues of energy-only vs. energy and capacity payment schemes is far from over."

29 Nov 2012 - 10:35
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