The difference between the price of electricity sold by a generator and the price of the fuel used to generate it, adjusted for equivalent units. The spark spread can be expressed in dollars per megawatt hour ($/MWh) or dollars per million British thermal units ($/mmBtu) or other applicable units. To express it in $/MWh, the spread is calculated by multiplying the price of gas, for example (in $/mmBtu), by the heat rate (in Btu/kilowatt hour), dividing by 1,000 and then subtracting the electricity price (in $/MWh). Also called a spark arbitrage.
Commodity trading and risk management is a subject that is necessarily complicated, and is becoming more so. The Energy Risk Glossary seeks to disentangle and clarify the jargon by providing definitions of commonly used energy and commodity market terms.
These include definitions related to a variety of underlying energy products, as well as technical terms about the many instruments and benchmarks used by energy market participants.
Many of the most recent terms to have been added to our glossary stem from the actions of regulators since the 2008 global financial crisis. The onset of rules, such as the US Dodd-Frank Act and European Market Infrastructure Regulation, has markedly increased the cost and complexity associated with commodity trading. Perhaps they have also increased the need for a handy reference guide such as this.
The glossary is extensively cross-referenced, making for easy and thorough searches. We hope you find the latest edition of the Energy Risk Glossary to be a useful resource.
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