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Chair of Applied Mathematics / Numerical Analysis
Bergische Universität Wuppertal
Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Gaußstraße 20
D-42119 Wuppertal
Germany

Phone: +49 202 439 5296
Fax: +49 (0) 202 439 5201
E-Mail: sek-amna{at}math.uni-wuppertal.de

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Energy Markets

Energy markets are a rapidly evolving application field in computational finance. Here we are basically concerned with the modelling und simulating numerically spot rates and energy derivatives using Monte Carlo, finite differences or finite volume methods.

Since the liberalisation of the energy market in Europe in the early 1990s, much opportunity to trade electricity as a commodity has arisen. One significant consequence of this movement is that market prices have become more volatile instead of its tradition constant rate of supply. Spot price markets have also been introduced, affecting the demand of electricity as companies now have the option to not only produce their own supply but also purchase this commodity from the market. Following the liberalisation of the energy market, hence creating a greater demand for trading of electricity and other types of energy, various types of options related to the sales, storage and transmission of electricity have consequently been introduced.

Particularly, swing options are popular in the electricity market. These swing-type derivatives are given in various forms and are mainly traded as over-the-counter (OTC) contracts at energy exchanges and offer flexibility with respect to timing and quantity.

Traditionally, the Geometric Brownian Motion (GBM) model is a very popular and standard approach for modelling the risk neutral price dynamics of underlyings. However, a limitation of this model is that it has very few degrees of freedom, as it does not capture the complex behaviour of electricity prices. In short the GBM model is inefficient in the pricing of options involving electricity. Other models have subsequently been used to bridge this inadequacy, e.g. spot price models, futures price models, etc.

To model risk-neutral commodity prices, there are basically two different methodologies, namely spot and futures or so-called term structure models. As swing options are usually written on spot prices, by which we mean the current price at which a particular commodity can be bought or sold at a specified time and place, it is important for us to examine these models in order to more accurately inculcate their effect on the pricing of swing options.

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