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Electricity Network Investment And Regulation For A Low Carbon Future


  • Pollitt, M.
  • Bialek, J.


The requirement for significantly higher electricity network investment in the UK seems certain as the capacity of distributed generation and large scale renewables increases on the system. In this paper, which forms a chapter in the forthcoming Book “Delivering a Low Carbon Electricity System: Technologies, Economics and Policy”2, the authors make a number of significant suggestions for improvement to the current system of network regulation. First, they suggest that the RPI-X system needs to be overhauled in favour of a simpler yardstick based system and which allows for more merchant transmission investments. Second, future regulation should involve more negotiated regulation involving agreements between network owners and purchasers of network services. This would be particularly advantageous for decisions on new network investments. Third, more extensive use needs to be made of locational pricing within the transmission and distribution system in order to facilitate the least cost expansion of low carbon generation, including micropower. Fourth, consideration needs to be given to ownership unbundling of distribution networks from retail supply. This would better facilitate the entry of distributed generation and the development of appropriate competition between grid and off-grid generation supply and demand side management. Finally, there needs to be a significant increase in R&D expenditure in electricity networks supported by customer levies.

Suggested Citation

  • Pollitt, M. & Bialek, J., 2007. "Electricity Network Investment And Regulation For A Low Carbon Future," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0750, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0750

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    Cited by:

    1. Kemp, Alexander G. & Phimister, Euan, 2010. "Economic Principles and Determination of Infrastructure Third Party Tariffs in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS)," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-115, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    2. Pollitt, M. J., 2011. "Lessons from the History of Independent System Operators in the Energy Sector, with applications to the Water Sector," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1153, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Darius Corbier & Frédéric Gonand & Marie Bessec, 2015. "Impacts of decentralised power generation on distribution networks: a statistical typology of European countries," Working Papers 1509, Chaire Economie du climat.
    4. Niesten, Eva, 2010. "Network investments and the integration of distributed generation: Regulatory recommendations for the Dutch electricity industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4355-4362, August.
    5. Pollitt, Michael, 2010. "Does electricity (and heat) network regulation have anything to learn from fixed line telecoms regulation?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 1360-1371, March.
    6. Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Security of supply and regulation of energy networks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4584-4589, December.

    More about this item


    Electricity networks; incentive regulation.;

    JEL classification:

    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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