Spotlight on a Student: Daniel Marshman

Performance of Electricity Markets & Power Plant Investments in the Transition to a Low-Carbon Power System

What is your research about?

My research has looked at achieving abatement and integrating renewable generation sources in electricity markets, focusing on the operational and investment time-frames. In Australia the decision to build power plants (that produce clean energy, or not) is made by private investors responding to price signals via policy and from the energy markets. Currently, there is significant debate over getting the right policy to drive investment in cleaner generation sources to achieve our abatement goals. However, as many renewable generators do not contribute to system security  - i.e. providing frequency control, inertia, dispatchability - in the same way that the existing thermal generators do, there is concern that generators that are needed to provide these services will not be adequately compensated by the market, and will choose to withdraw instead.

I've also looked at more technical problems. For example, many traditional power system models use hourly resolution. I have examined the increase in costs when sub-hourly resolution is considered, under increasing wind and solar generation. I've also found that the business case for storage becomes stronger when wind and solar are modelled at finer time-scales.

To answer these questions, I've built an optimization model that performs decision-making for the generation expansion, unit commitment, and economic dispatch problems. This model makes decisions regarding the operation a power system at least-cost, and calculates efficient prices and then the financial performance of market participants. It can be adapted to a range of different power systems (i.e. Australian, U.S etc.) and market designs.

Who are your supervisors?

A great team of three supervisors has supervised me. Professor Michael Brear is a Professor of Engineering and Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute and has extensive experience working with energy and transport systems. Dr Matthew Jeppesen is an honorary fellow at Melbourne University and the director of a solar forecasting company - Proa Analytics. Dr Brendan Ring is director of a consultancy named Market Reform, and has experience with market design in electricity gas and water markets around the world.

What do you want to do next?

I'm going to submit my PhD in the next couple of months. After a quick trip to go rock climbing in Canada, I'm excited to go and work in industry. I've signed on with a boutique consultancy - Market Reform - and will be working on electricity markets in Australia and overseas.

Daniel,, and his  supervisors, Prof. Michael Brear,, Dr. Matthew Jeppesen,, and Dr. Brendan Ring, warmly welcome any inquiries about this research.

More Information

Ruby Brown

+61 3 9035 3641

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