Ring the Alarm! Electricity Markets, Renewables, and the Pandemic

63 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2020 Last revised: 28 Oct 2021

Date Written: October 1, 2020


The pandemic's impacts on European electricity markets have been enormous, especially in countries with abundant low marginal costs of production like France. This article provides an in-depth quantitative study of the impacts of the crisis on the French electricity sector. During the first lockdown episode, France has experienced unparalleled reductions of electricity demand (-12%) and wholesale prices (-45%) resulting in gross revenue losses of 1.3 billion \EUR{} (-47%) for market participants. This paper argues that the observed market outcomes during the crisis are somehow indicative of outcomes in a future with abundant renewable power, where prices will fall in a more sustainable way.

Keywords: Energy Transition, COVID-19, Demand, Electricity Markets, Machine Learning

JEL Classification: L94, Q02, Q41, Q47

Suggested Citation

Benatia, David and Benatia, David, Ring the Alarm! Electricity Markets, Renewables, and the Pandemic (October 1, 2020). USAEE Working Paper No. 20-473, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3703117 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3703117

David Benatia (Contact Author)

CREST-ENSAE ( email )


HEC Montreal ( email )

3000, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
Montreal, Quebec H2X 2L3

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