Redefinition of the Scarcity Price: lessons and recommendations from the Colombian electricity market

Emanuel J. Llanos-Perez, Laura M. Hinestroza-Olascuaga


The Colombian government introduced a capacity market in order to promote the diversification in the energy matrix and protect users from high prices derived from dry seasonal events. Unfortunately, the flaws in the scarcity price definition- a mechanism that activates the capacity market obligation and sets a cap price for the spot market- have led into a market failure. Specifically, some generation plants have been forced to be unavailable because their variable costs are significantly higher than the scarcity price. This paper presents a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the Colombian Electricity system, with a particular emphasis on the definition of the scarcity price. Results present lessons and recommendations for policy makers based on the experience of the Colombian Electricity Market, highlighting the need of a new definition of the scarcity price and a different focus on the energy planning scheme.


Colombian energy system; energy market; energy planning; spot market price

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