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The “Smart Paradox”: Stimulate the deployment of smart grids with effective regulatory instruments

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  • Marques, Vítor
  • Bento, Nuno
  • Costa, Paulo Moisés

Abstract

The concept of SG (Smart Grids) encompasses a set of technologies that raise the intelligence of the electrical networks, such as smart meters or instruments of communication, sensing and auto-correction of networks. Nevertheless, the cost is still an important obstacle for the transformation of the current electricity system into a smarter one. Regulation can have an important role in setting up a favorable framework that fosters investments. However, the novelty with SG is the disembodied character of the technology, which may change the incentives of the regulated network companies to invest, affecting the effectiveness of the regulatory instruments (“cost plus” or “price cap”). This paper demonstrates that the solution to this “Smart” paradox requires strong incentive regulation mechanisms able to stimulate the adoption of SG technologies. Moreover, the regulation should not jeopardize conventional investments that are unable to be substituted by SG. Thus, a combination of performance regulation and efficiency obligations may be necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • Marques, Vítor & Bento, Nuno & Costa, Paulo Moisés, 2014. "The “Smart Paradox”: Stimulate the deployment of smart grids with effective regulatory instruments," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 96-103.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:69:y:2014:i:c:p:96-103
    DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2014.01.007
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    1. repec:eee:energy:v:134:y:2017:i:c:p:458-468 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Tuballa, Maria Lorena & Abundo, Michael Lochinvar, 2016. "A review of the development of Smart Grid technologies," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 710-725.
    3. Paulo Moisés Costa & Nuno Bento & Vítor Marques, 2014. "Dealing with Technological Risk in a Regulatory Context: The Case of Smart Grids," GEMF Working Papers 2014-11, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    4. Cambini, Carlo & Meletiou, Alexis & Bompard, Ettore & Masera, Marcelo, 2016. "Market and regulatory factors influencing smart-grid investment in Europe: Evidence from pilot projects and implications for reform," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 36-47.
    5. Vitor Miguel Ribeiro, 2014. "Long-term regulatory orientation and the ideal timing of quality investment," FEP Working Papers 552, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

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