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Towards a future with large penetration of distributed generation: Is the current regulation of electricity distribution ready? Regulatory recommendations under a European perspective

  • Cossent, Rafael
  • Gómez, Tomás
  • Frías, Pablo
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    The European Energy Policy promotes renewable energy sources and energy efficiency as means to mitigate environmental impact, increase security of supply and ensure economic competitiveness. As a result, the penetration levels of distributed generation (DG) in electricity networks are bound to increase. Distribution networks and distribution system operators (DSOs) will be especially affected by growing levels of DG. This paper reviews the current regulation of distribution in the European Union Member States, focusing on those aspects that might hinder the future integration of DG. Several regulatory issues that may hinder a successful integration of DG have been identified. Recommendations to improve the current situation are proposed. Regarding economic signals sent to DG, connection charges and cost-reflective use-of-system charges together with incentives to provide ancillary services are the key aspects. Concerning DSOs regulation, unbundling from generation and supply according to the European Electricity Directive, incentives for optimal planning and network operation considering DG, including energy losses and quality of service, and innovation schemes to migrate to active networks are the most relevant topics.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 1145-1155

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:3:p:1145-1155
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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    1. Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2003. "International benchmarking and regulation: an application to European electricity distribution utilities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(15), pages 1609-1622, December.
    2. Reiche, Danyel & Bechberger, Mischa, 2004. "Policy differences in the promotion of renewable energies in the EU member states," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 843-849, May.
    3. Rodri­guez Ortega, Mari­a Pi­a & Pérez-Arriaga, J. Ignacio & Abbad, Juan Rivier & González, Jesús Peco, 2008. "Distribution network tariffs: A closed question?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1712-1725, May.
    4. Paul L. Joskow, 2013. "Incentive Regulation in Theory and Practice: Electricity Distribution and Transmission Networks," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Regulation and Its Reform: What Have We Learned?, pages 291-344 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Pepermans, G. & Driesen, J. & Haeseldonckx, D. & Belmans, R. & D'haeseleer, W., 2005. "Distributed generation: definition, benefits and issues," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 787-798, April.
    6. Giannakis, Dimitrios & Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2005. "Benchmarking and incentive regulation of quality of service: an application to the UK electricity distribution networks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(17), pages 2256-2271, November.
    7. Maribu, Karl Magnus & Firestone, Ryan M. & Marnay, Chris & Siddiqui, Afzal S., 2007. "Distributed energy resources market diffusion model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 4471-4484, September.
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