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WID-DOW Seminar: Modeling Electricity Markets Using Complementarity

Event Details

When: May 2, 2014, 12:00 PM

Location: 103 Taylor Hall

Cost: Free and open to campus.

Contact: 608-316-4401, hstampfli@wisc.edu

WID’s Optimization research area welcomes Benjamin Hobbs for a WID-DOW presentation. Hobbs is a Professor of Geography and Environmental Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He is also the Director of the Environment, Energy, Sustainability & Health Institute.

Hobbs will lead a talk titled, “Modeling Electricity Markets Using Complementarity: Why It’s Important (and Fun), & What’s Needed Next.”

Please note, this talk will be held in Taylor Hall, room 103.

This event is free and open to campus. Registration is NOT required.

Speaker Abstract:

Electric power: done wrong, it drags the economy and environment down; done right, it could help to create a more efficient, brighter and cleaner future. Better policy, planning and operations models — both simple, analytical and complex, computational ones — are essential if we’re going to do it right. Better modeling is also fun, as the math of electricity models is inherently interesting and revealing — models often show flaws in our intuition.  Used intelligently, models can point us towards better regulations, investments and operating policies. I highlight some applications that have provided useful insights for policy making. A critical need is better transmission infrastructure planning under gross uncertainties including carbon policies, growth in demand and fuel prices and location of renewable development. All models are wrong, but better models can help us avoid terrible investment and policy mistakes.

Complementarity  modeling is a particularly flexible approach to modeling games and market equilibrium problems, readily accommodating behavioral and regulatory constraints. An example of a complementarity problem is: find X such that X>= 0, f(X) <= 0 and x*f(X) = 0. Efficient software, based on modifications of Lemke’s method or other algorithms, can also solve large problems representing, for instance, dozens of power generation companies and thousands of transmission constraints. The application of complementariy methods to energy markets is growing rapidly.


More about Benjamin Hobbs:Benjamin Hobbs

Benjamin Hobbs is a Professor in Geography and Environmental Engineering with a secondary appointment in the Department of Applied Mathematics & Statistics at Johns Hopkins University. Hobbs is also the Director of the Environment, Energy, Sustainability and Health Institute. He received his B.S. from South Dakota State University, his M.S. from State University of New York, Syracuse and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. His research areas include stochastic electric power planning models, multiobjective and risk analysis, mathematical programming mocels of imprefect energy markets, environmental and energy systems analysis and economics and ecosystem management.