Revenue Sufficiency and Reliability in a Zero Marginal Cost Future: NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

Research output: NRELPresentation


Features of existing wholesale electricity markets, such as administrative pricing rules and policy-based reliability standards, can distort market incentives from allowing generators sufficient opportunities to recover both fixed and variable costs. Moreover, these challenges can be amplified by other factors, including (1) inelastic demand resulting from a lack of price signal clarity, (2) low- or near-zero marginal cost generation, particularly arising from low natural gas fuel prices and variable generation (VG), such as wind and solar, and (3) the variability and uncertainty of this VG. As power systems begin to incorporate higher shares of VG, many questions arise about the suitability of the existing marginal-cost-based price formation, primarily within an energy-only market structure, to ensure the economic viability of resources that might be needed to provide system reliability. This article discusses these questions and provides a summary of completed and ongoing modelling-based work at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to better understand the impacts of evolving power systems on reliability and revenue sufficiency.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NamePresented at the 15th International Workshop on Large-Scale Integration of Wind Power, 15-17 November 2016, Vienna, Austria

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-6A20-67500


  • capacity adequacy
  • component
  • LOLE
  • LOLP
  • missing money
  • production cost modelling
  • reliability
  • resource adequacy
  • revenue sufficiency


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