Unlocking Flexibility with Law: developing a Legal Framework for Smart Electricity Systems

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This PhD thesis explores implications for a legal framework which enables and incentivises “smart electricity systems” (SES). SES aim at integrating demand-flexibility for the purpose of efficiency gains in electricity supply and distribution. This becomes of increasing relevance regarding decentral generation on the basis of renewable energy sources. The scope of this thesis entails the EU electricity sector and therefore mainly refers to EU legislation, more specifically, legislation which governs the establishment of the internal electricity market and defines the roles and responsibilities of actors in the sector. The focus of this PhD thesis on the distribution system level. This PhD thesis argues that SES functionalities have three major implications for the current organisation of the electricity sector as codified in the legal framework. 1) SES change system users into market participants who can no longer be qualified by predetermined user categories (producer or consumer), but by their ability and willingness to react to dynamic prices, i.e. their flexibility-profile. 2) A legal framework for SES needs to incorporate price dynamic distribution network tariffs which correspond to the different time- and location-dependent needs of the system users. 3) Harnessing flexibilities of system users at distribution system level requires a high level of coordination between system users and the distribution system operators and amongst system users inter se at distribution system level. The current legal framework on the electricity sector does not sufficiently incorporate these three points and therefore poses an obstacle to the development and implementation of SES.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Vedder, Hans, Supervisor
  • Roggenkamp, Martha, Supervisor
Award date4-Jul-2019
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-1781-3
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-1780-6
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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