IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Unlocking the potential of the smart metering technology: How can regulation level the playing-field for new services in smart grids?


  • Kranz, Johann
  • Picot, Arnold
  • Roemer, Benedikt


By integrating a communications system with the existing power grid, smart grids provide end-to-end connectivity. This enables all entities and components integrated in the electricity supply system to exchange information without knowing the network's structure. New services and applications such as demand response or virtual power plants that will aid to improve and optimize the use of electricity depend on the availability of a smart grid communication network. End-to-end communication networks require that the missing communications gap between consumers' premises and the remaining energy network is bridged by deploying an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). Given the current liberalized electricity markets' structure incumbent distribution system operators (DSOs) will control the AMI and the meter data. This gives rise to concerns about anti-competitiveness. We argue that leveraging the AMI in a social welfare maximizing way requires non-discriminatory access for all entitled parties to the (1) AMI and the (2) meter data through (3) interoperable standards. We discuss possible regulatory remedies to ensure a level playing-field for innovative services in smart grids and consider implications for research and regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Kranz, Johann & Picot, Arnold & Roemer, Benedikt, 2011. "Unlocking the potential of the smart metering technology: How can regulation level the playing-field for new services in smart grids?," 22nd European Regional ITS Conference, Budapest 2011: Innovative ICT Applications - Emerging Regulatory, Economic and Policy Issues 52183, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:itse11:52183

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard N. Langlois, 1999. "Technological Standards, Innovation, and Essential Facilities: Toward a Schumpeterian Post-Chicago Approach," Working papers 1999-07, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    2. Blankart, Charles B. & Knieps, Günter & Zenhäusern, Patrick, 2007. "Regulation of new markets in telecommunications? Market dynamics and shrinking monopolistic bottlenecks," Discussion Papers 112 [rev.], University of Freiburg, Institute for Transport Economics and Regional Policy.
    3. Woo, Chi-Keung & Lloyd, Debra & Tishler, Asher, 2003. "Electricity market reform failures: UK, Norway, Alberta and California," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1103-1115, September.
    4. Langni, Ole & Diekmann, Jochen & Lehr, Ulrike, 2009. "Advanced mechanisms for the promotion of renewable energy--Models for the future evolution of the German Renewable Energy Act," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1289-1297, April.
    5. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, January.
    6. Robert Wilson, 2002. "Architecture of Power Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(4), pages 1299-1340, July.
    7. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Harrington & John M. Vernon, 2005. "Economics of Regulation and Antitrust, 4th Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 4, volume 1, number 026222075x, January.
    8. Shane Greenstein & Timothy F. Bresnahan, 2001. "special issue: The economic contribution of information technology: Towards comparative and user studies," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 95-118.
    9. Cave, Martin & Vogelsang, Ingo, 0. "How access pricing and entry interact," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(10-11), pages 717-727, November.
    10. Farrell, Joseph & Weiser, Philip J., 2003. "Modularity, Vertical Integration, and Open Access Policies: Towards a Convergence of Antitrust and Regulation in the Internet Age," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt5ps3f7p9, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    11. Brown, Stephen & Pyke, David & Steenhof, Paul, 2010. "Electric vehicles: The role and importance of standards in an emerging market," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 3797-3806, July.
    12. Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "Standardization and variety," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-74.
    13. Barbara van Schewick, 2010. "Internet Architecture and Innovation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262013975, January.
    14. Salinger, Michael A, 1989. "The Meaning of "Upstream" and "Downstream" and the Implications for Modeling Vertical Mergers," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 373-387, June.
    15. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Regulation; Smart Grid; Smart Meter; Antitrust;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:itse11:52183. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.