The work aims to analyze UK’s and Brazil’s wholesale electricity trading models. UK’s model, also known as New Electricity Trading Arrangements (NETA), can be considered a reference for the present day electricity markets. Recently UK has implemented a market reform that, while maintaining UK’s market structure, introduced several strong regulatory economic signals in order to foster new investments, both in thermal and in low carbon emission electricity generation. Brazil’s wholesale market model is also noteworthy as it managed to promote large scale investments in low carbon generation in a liberalized market environment. However, Brazil’s regulatory framework design proved fragile during a recent long draught period when short term financial obligations related to imbalance settlements soared and led to financial stress and, eventually to a market halt.
In 2004 came into force a new model for the Brazilian Electricity Sector (BES). This model was established based on three pillars: expansion of the installed capacity, reasonable tariffs and universalization of the access to electricity. The main change that took place was the resumption of the energy planning for the State’s responsibility, which had been transferred to private players in the previous liberal period. This resumption takes place through the creation of the Empresa de Pesquisa Energética (EPE), whose purpose is the development of studies and researches to support the planning of the energy sector, guiding the government and industry players in their decision making process and guidelines establishment. Among the major studies carried out by EPE is the Plano Decenal de Expansão de Energia (PDE), that annually formulates forecasts for the expansion of the supply and demand of energy for a period of 10 years ahead, therefore becoming an important planning tool for the BES. Thus, the PDE indicates the future electricity mix for the sector. However, EPE’s planning is only indicative, making it essential to analyze whether their propositions occur in reality. Therefore, the procurement of installed capacity to be added to the BES and the sources that will compose this future mix need to be investigated. Moreover, with the new model, the procurement of new installed capacity starts to occur through energy auctions. In these auctions, the concession of new plants occurs and it is guaranteed the future supply to attend the demand anticipated by the distribution companies for the regulated consumers. The electricity auctions aim to contract energy with reasonable tariffs. In order for that to happen, the criterion used to define the winner is the lowest rate offered. Thus it is through the electricity auctions that the government coordinates the expansion of the generating capacity and the winner sources will compose the future electricity mix. The composition derived from the results of the auctions often differs from the projections of the PDE, making this differentiation the central object of analysis in this article. In that way, the question that arises is what are the causes that explain the differences between the results of these energy auctions and what it was projected and estimated by EPE in its ten-year planning. The article seeks to make a comparison of PDE’s projections since its first formulation in 2006, with the results of the new energy auctions held so far. Essentially, it seeks to answer if, through the indicative planning and the auctions, we are in fact moving towards a strategic electricity mix for the BES.