The Efficacy of Financial Futures as a Hedging Tool in Electricity Markets
Document Type Article
International Journal of Finance & Economics, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 29-40.
This paper estimates and applies a risk management strategy for electricity spot exposures using futures hedging. We apply our approach to three of the most actively traded European electricity markets, Nordpool, APXUK and Phelix. We compare both optimal hedging strategies and the hedging effectiveness of these markets for two hedging horizons, weekly and monthly using both Variance and Value at Risk (VaR). Our key finding is that electricity futures can effectively manage risk only for specific time periods when using hedging strategies that have been very successful in financial and other commodity markets. More generally they are ineffective as a risk management tool when compared with other energy assets. This is especially true at the weekly frequency. We also find significant differences in both the Optimal Hedge Ratios (OHR’s) and the hedging effectiveness of the different electricity markets. Better performance is found for the Nordpool market, while the poorest performer in hedging terms is the Phelix market.