Michael Hochberg

Visiting Research Fellow

Michael is an energy industry professional with expertise in power project development, electricity markets, and regulation. Michael began collaborating with the Institute as the OIES-Saudi Aramco fellow in 2017, when he led a study evaluating auctions as policy tool for renewable energy procurement. His experience includes renewable project origination & development at Hecate Energy, management consulting in the Global Energy & Utilities practice of PA Consulting Group, and research related to the economics and regulation of the power sector. He holds a master’s degree focused on energy economics from Universidad Pontificia Comillas where he was an Iberdrola Scholar, and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Political Science from Tulane University. His academic experience also includes a Fulbright Scholarship in Spain, and a fellowship with the Clean Energy Leadership Institute in the United States.

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                    [post_content] => Brazil’s current electricity market design heavily relies on auctions, long-term contracts, and central coordination mechanisms. Combining these instruments has proved to be effective in ensuring resource adequacy, a key policy objective. However, the implications of the dominance of the centrally coordinated auctions for long-term contracts are worth examining. This paper argues that the current market architecture may not represent the optimum long-term solution for a sustainable market as it ignores consumer preferences to drive investment decisions, transfers risks to consumers, has made the short-term market less relevant, and suffers from regulatory and design complexities.

Michael Hochberg, Rahmatallah Poudineh, The Brazilian electricity market architecture: An analysis of instruments and misalignments, Utilites Policy  72 (2021) 
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                    [post_content] => Competitive tendering has become one of the preferred methods of contracting renewable energy generation capacity internationally. As of early 2015, at least 60 countries had adopted renewable energy tenders, compared to just six countries in 2005. However, there are limited country-specific comparisons which research the subject considering the importance and prominence of the issue. The aim of this study is to fill this research gap by examining the Brazilian and Mexican experiences in developing renewables and how their tendering programmes interact with the market and institutional frameworks in which they exist. Fundamentally, our study seeks to shed light on two simple questions: what auction design issues may serve as barriers to renewable development, and how can auctions be improved further? We provide a historical assessment of renewable and generation capacity development policies in both Brazil and Mexico, review auction design and results in both countries, and offer recommendations for the future design and implementation of renewable energy policy tools, and auctions in particular.

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Michael Hochberg, Rahmatallah Poudineh, The Brazilian electricity market architecture: An analysis of instruments and misalignments, Utilites Policy  72 (2021) 
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Latest Publications by Michael Hochberg