René Aïd, Gilles Chemla, Arnaud Porchet, Nizar Touzi
This paper analyzes the interactions between vertical integration and (wholesale) spot, forward and retail markets in risk management. We develop an equilibrium model that fits electricity markets well. We point out that vertical integration and forward hedging are two separate levers for demand and spot price risk diversification. We show that they are imperfect substitutes as to their impact on retail prices and agents’ utility because the asymmetry between upstream and downstream segments. While agents always use the forward market, vertical integration may not arise. In addition, in presence of highly risk averse downstream agents, vertical integration may be a better way to diversify risk than spot, forward and retail markets. We illustrate our analysis with data from the French electricity market.