The Covid-19 Shock on a Low-Carbon Grid: Evidence from the Nordics
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionEnergy Policy. 2021, 156 . 10.1016/j.enpol.2021.112416
I investigate how the Covid-19 epidemic affected consumption and prices in a part of the Nordic electricity market that has a high penetration of intermittent renewable energy: Denmark and the southernmost part of Sweden. In sharp contrast to studies of other regions, I find no overall drop in consumption in this region. However, the distribution of consumption shifted away from peak hours. Nonetheless, prices dropped significantly, with a decline that started well before the imposition of societal restrictions in Denmark. Periods where wind power covered all of local load saw prices collapse towards zero with little variance under the Covid-19 epidemic. The results have important policy implications. Energy-only markets may fail to provide sufficient investment incentives for renewable energy when penetrations of such generation are already high. Policies and technologies that shift load from peak to non-peak times may further erode market incentives.