• Assessment of cost-benefit analysis for offshore electricity infrastructure development

      Bhagwat, Pradyumna; Schittekatte, Tim; Keyaerts, Nico; Meeus, Leonardo (2017)
      The application of cost-benefit analysis (CBA) for offshore electricity infrastructure projects with a pan-European impact is discussed. An analytical framework for the evaluation of CBA methodologies is presented. The framework is then applied to assess the CBAs of three offshore infrastructure projects (EWIC, COBRAcable and ISLES). Overall, the CBAs assessed already comply with several dimensions of the analytical framework. However, based on this assessment it is found that scope for improvement in quality exists in three areas namely, in considering project interactions, in dealing with uncertainty and in making the results between CBAs comparable by ensuring full monetisation. Furthermore, the research also confirms the view that a common harmonised CBA methodology is essential for selection of PCIs.
    • Flexibility markets : Q&A with project pioneers

      Schittekatte, Tim; Meeus, Leonardo (2019)
      Flexibility markets are recognised as a promising tool to make better use of existing distribution grids and thereby also reduce the need for grid investments. In this paper, we analyse four pioneering projects implementing flexibility markets: Piclo Flex, Enera, GOPACS and NODES. Based on a literature review, we develop a six-question framework and we then analyse the projects with that framework. The questions are: (1) Is the flexibility market integrated in the existing sequence of EU electricity markets; (2) Is the flexibility market operator a third party; (3) Are there reservation payments; (4) Are the products standardised; (5) Is there TSO-DSO cooperation for the organisation of the flexibility market; (6) Is there DSO-DSO cooperation for the organisation of the flexibility market. We find that all the considered flexibility markets are operated by a third party. All projects also engage with multiple DSOs in order to become the standardised platform provider. Important differences between the projects are the extent to which the flexibility markets are integrated into other markets, the use of reservation payments, the use of standardised products and the way TSO-DSO cooperation has been implemented.
    • Flexibility markets: Q&A with project pioneers

      Schittekatte, Tim; Meeus, Leonardo (Utilities Policy, 2020)
      Flexibility markets are a promising tool to make better use of existing distribution grids. We analyse four pioneering projects implementing flexibility markets: Piclo Flex, Enera, GOPACS, and NODES. Based on a literature review, we develop a six-question framework. We find that all of the considered flexibility markets are operated by a third party. All projects also engage with multiple DSOs to become the standardized platform provider. Differences among the projects are found in the extent to which the flexibility markets are integrated into other existing markets, the use of reservation payments, the use of standardized products, and the way TSO-DSO cooperation is done. The answers to these questions vary for the projects because of different visions, use cases, or project maturity. Our case study analysis of four pioneering projects enriches the taxonomy and shows that practice is moving faster than the conceptual debate around flexibility markets.
    • The future of EU electricity network codes

      Meeus, Leonardo; Nouicer, Athir; Reif, Valerie; Schittekatte, Tim (2020)
      This comprehensive book on the European energy transition has been written by more than 40 European leading energy- and climate experts. It reflects on the latest policy developments, as such as the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package, the Green Deal and the Climate Law.
    • Future-proof tariff design: Recovering sunk grid costs in a world where consumers are pushing back

      Schittekatte, Tim; Momber, Ilan; Meeus, Leonardo (2017)
      Traditional analysis of distribution grid user’s reaction to tariffs assumes a low price sensitivity and a lack of alternative technologies to grid connection. This is radically changing with two technology breakthroughs: (1) Photovoltaics (PV) enable domestic and commercial consumers to self-produce energy; (2) Batteries allow self-producers to set both their grid energy and capacity parameters. Contributing to the state of the art, the grid cost recovery problem is modelled as a non-cooperative game between consumers. In this game, the availability and costs of new technologies (such as PV and batteries) strategically interact with tariff structures. Four states of the world for user’s access to new technologies are distinguished and three tariff structures are evaluated. The assessed distribution network tariff structures are: energy volumetric charges with net-metering, energy volumetric charges for both injection and withdrawal, and capacity-based charges. Results show that the new distribution world -open by new technology choices for grid users- is highly interactive and threatens grid regulation not understanding it.
    • Future-proof tariff design: Recovering sunk grid costs in a world where consumers are pushing back

      Schittekatte, Tim; Momber, Ilan; Meeus, Leonardo (Energy Economics, 2018)
      Traditional analysis of distribution network tariff design assumes a lack of alternatives to grid connection for the fulfilment of consumers' electricity needs. This is radically changing with breakthroughs in two technologies: (1) Photovoltaics (PV) enable domestic and commercial consumers to self-produce energy; (2) Batteries allow consumers and self-producers to gain control over their grid energy and capacity parameters. Contributing to the state of the art, the grid cost recovery problem for the Distribution System Operator (DSO) is modelled as a non-cooperative game between consumers. In this game, the availability and costs of the two named technologies strategically interact with tariff structures. Four states of the world for user's access to technologies are distinguished and three tariff structures are evaluated. The assessed distribution network tariff structures are: energy volumetric charges with net-metering, energy volumetric charges for both injection and withdrawal, and capacity-based charges. Results show that in a state of the world with new technology choices for grid users both efficiency and equity issues can arise when distribution network charges are ill-designed.
    • Least-cost distribution network tariff design in theory and practice

      Schittekatte, Tim; Meeus, Leonardo (2018)
      In this paper a game-theoretical model with self-interest pursuing consumers is introduced to assess how to design a least-cost distribution tariff under two constraints that regulators typically face. The first constraint is related to difficulties regarding the implementation of cost-reflective tariffs. In practice, so-called cost-reflective tariffs are only a proxy for the actual cost driver(s) in distribution grids. The second constraint has to do with fairness. There is a fear that active consumers investing in distributed energy resources (DER) might benefit at the expense of passive consumers. We find that both constraints have a significant impact on the least-cost network tariff design, and the results depend on the state of the grid. If most of the grid investments still have to be made, passive and active consumers can both benefit from cost-reflective tariffs, while this is not the case for passive consumers if the costs are mostly sunk.
    • Least-cost distribution network tariff design in theory and practice

      Schittekatte, Tim; Meeus, Leonardo (The Energy Journal, 2020)
      In this paper a game-theoretical model with self-interest pursuing consumers is introduced in order to assess how to design a least-cost distribution tariff under two constraints that regulators typically face. The first constraint is related to difficulties regarding the implementation of cost-reflective tariffs. In practice, so-called cost-reflective tariffs are only a proxy for the actual cost driver(s) in distribution grids. The second constraint has to do with fairness. There is a fear that active consumers investing in distributed energy resources (DER) might benefit at the expense of passive consumers. We find that both constraints have a significant impact on the least-cost network tariff design, and the results depend on the state of the grid. If most of the grid investments still have to be made, passive and active consumers can both benefit from cost-reflective tariffs, while this is not the case for passive consumers if the costs are mostly sunk.
    • Making the TEN-E regulation compatible with the Green Deal: Eligibility, selection, and cost allocation for PCIs

      Schittekatte, Tim; Pototschnig, Alberto; Meeus, Leonardo; Jamasb, Tooraj; Llorca, Manuel
      The European Green Deal calls for a revision of the Regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure (TEN-E Regulation). The focus of the TEN-E Regulation was on accelerating the development of strategically important projects linking energy networks across the EU, labelled as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). We provide seven recommendations on how to revise the Regulation to align it with the new full decarbonisation objective. We split the analysis in three parts: the eligibility, selection and cost allocation of PCIs. Regarding eligibility, first, oil networks should be excluded, while the case of gas networks is debatable. Second, power-to-X technologies, electric charging infrastructure and (smart) gas distribution grids could be added to the scope. Regarding selection, first, the Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYDNP) should be integrated over all energy vectors using an open-source model. Second and third, the scenarios used in the TYNDPs should be subject to the European Commission's approval, while the approval decision for cost-benefit analysis methodologies should be reallocated from the Commission to ACER. Finally, regarding cost allocation, first, cross-border cost allocation decisions should leave all involved jurisdictions with similar benefit-to-cost ratios to increase commitment. Second, affordability should be the only award criterion for European funding.
    • Regulatory experimentation in energy: Three pioneer countries and lessons for the green transition

      Schittekatte, Tim; Meeus, Leonardo; Jamasb, Tooraj; Llorca, Manuel (Energy Policy, 2021)
      Regulatory experimentation is a novel approach to enable innovation in the energy sector, while maintaining the protection of consumers. We define regulatory experimentation as a temporary removal of regulatory barriers. This can be in the form of a derogation from a rule, but it can also mean assigning responsibility to players to conduct activities that they are normally not allowed to engage in. The outcomes of regulatory experiments inform future regulation. In this paper, we discuss experiences with regulatory experimentation in the energy sector of three pioneering countries: the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Italy. We compare the implementations along six design dimensions: eligible project promoters, scope of the derogations, length of the derogations, administration of the experiments, the access to public funding, and transparency. We also discuss how the early approaches have evolved in these countries. Finally, we look ahead and discuss how regulatory experimentation can evolve in the future European context to contribute to the green transition.
    • The regulatory framework for independent aggregators

      Schittekatte, Tim; Deschamps, Vincent; Meeus, Leonardo (The Electricity Journal, 2021)
      The importance of independent aggregators has been acknowledged in the recently adopted EU Clean Energy Package (CEP). The CEP obliges all Member States to develop a regulatory framework to allow these players to enter the market, but it leaves many of the details of implementation to the national level. In this paper, we take stock of current practices in regulating the contractual relationship between the supplier and the independent aggregator. The actions of an independent aggregator can cause an imbalance in a supplier’s portfolio, and suppliers have also asked for a compensation payment for forgone revenues. We find that the first issue has been handled with a perimeter correction in most countries, while the second issue is more controversial. The need for a compensation payment has been challenged and many different compensation models are being tested. We distinguish between the regulated, the corrected, and the contracted model. We conclude that more guidance is needed at EU-level for convergence on a more harmonized approach.
    • Standing still is moving backward for the ABC of the CBA

      Keyaerts, Nico; Schittekatte, Tim; Meeus, Leonardo (2016)
      Developments in both gas and electricity are fast moving with higher risks for stranded assets in Trans-European Networks. This puts increasingly higher demands on the CBA method that is used to select priority investments. Standing still in the development of that method would be going backward. The ABC of the CBA for so-called Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) is about: A. dealing with interactions between PCIs (coordination); B. gaining trust and public acceptance (transparency); and C. deciding where the experts stop and the politics start in the valuation of PCIs (monetisation). To deal with the interactions between PCIs, we recommend additional improvements to the clustering of projects and the baseline definition in the common CBA method; and we also recognise that individual project promoters might lack the information and resources to do this, which is why we suggest that this could become a task for the ENTSOs or Regional Groups instead of the promoters. To gain trust and public acceptance, we recommend harmonised and disaggregated cost and benefit reporting, noting that we still have a long way to go, and noting that this is not even enough because the ambition should be an open source CBA model rather than a common method. To reduce the politics, we emphasise the importance of a full monetisation of the value of PCIs, and note that we could ask the Regional Groups to express their policy priorities at the start of the process via the eligibility criteria, which would also increase the transparency of the process.
    • Welcoming new entrants into European electricity markets

      Schittekatte, Tim; Reif, Valerie; Meeus, Leonardo (Energies, 2021)
      In this review paper, we select four important waves of new entrants that knocked on the door of European electricity markets to illustrate how market rules need to be continuously adapted to allow new entrants to come in and push innovation forward. The new entrants that we selected are utilities venturing into neighbouring markets after establishing a strong position in their home market, utility-scale renewables project developers, asset-light software companies aggregating smaller consumers and producers, and different types of communities. We show that well-intentioned rules designed for certain types of market participants can (unintentionally) become obstacles for new entrants. We conclude that the evolution of market rules illustrates the importance of dynamic regulation. At the start of the liberalisation process the view was that we would deregulate or re-regulate the sector after which the role of regulators could be reduced. However, their role has only increased. New players tend to improve the sustainability of the electricity sector in environmental, social, or economic terms but might also present new risks that require intervention by regulators.