Modeling spot price dependence in Australian electricity markets with applications to risk management

Katja Ignatieva*, Stefan Trück

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


We examine the dependence structure of electricity spot prices across regional markets in Australia. One of the major objectives in establishing a national electricity market was to provide a nationally integrated and efficient electricity market, limiting market power of generators in the separate regional markets. Our analysis is based on a GARCH approach to model the marginal price series in the considered regions in combination with copulae to capture the dependence structure between the marginals. We apply different copula models including Archimedean, elliptical and copula mixture models. We find a positive dependence structure between the prices for all considered markets, while the strongest dependence is exhibited between markets that are connected via interconnector transmission lines. Regarding the nature of dependence, the Student-t copula provides a good fit to the data, while the overall best results are obtained using copula mixture models due to their ability to also capture asymmetric dependence in the tails of the distribution. Interestingly, our results also suggest that for the four major markets, NSW, QLD, SA and VIC, the degree of dependence has decreased starting from the year 2008 towards the end of the sample period in 2010. Examining the Value-at-Risk of stylized portfolios constructed from electricity spot contracts in different markets, we find that the Student-t and mixture copula models outperform the Gaussian copula in a backtesting study. Our results are important for risk management and hedging decisions of market participants, in particular for those operating in several regional markets simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-433
Number of pages19
JournalComputers and Operations Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016


  • Electricity markets
  • Regional markets
  • Dependence modeling
  • Copulas
  • Tail dependence
  • Risk management


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