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Hedging spark spread risk with futures

Beatriz Martínez and Hipolit Torro

Energy Policy, 2018, vol. 113, issue C, 731-746

Abstract: This paper discusses the spark spread risk management using electricity and natural gas futures. We focus on three European markets in which the natural gas share in the fuel mix varies considerably: Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. We find that spark spread returns are partially predictable, and consequently, the Ederington and Salas (2008) minimum variance hedging approach should be applied. Hedging the spark spread is more difficult than hedging electricity and natural gas price risks with individual futures contracts. Whereas spark spread risk reduction for monthly periods produces values of between 20.05% and 48.90%, electricity and natural gas individual hedges attain reductions ranging of between 31.22% and 69.06%. Results should be of interest for agents in markets in which natural gas is part of the fuel mix in the power generation system.

Keywords: Natural gas market; Electricity market; Futures contracts; Spark spread; Hedging ratio; Seasonal effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G11 G13 L94 L95 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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