Outlook: Energy Transition and Regulatory Framework 2.0: Insights from the European Union
Focused on RES generation, the previous chapters of this book provided an overview of the requirements, opportunities and challenges of shaping a consumer-inclusive energy transition from a theorical and empirical perspective. This chapter explains why further pursuing the energy transition requires entering a new phase with profound regulatory changes, even for front-runners. Against the background of recent European Union (EU) policy initiatives in this area and our country cases, this chapter presents policy leads in the EU and beyond for a consumer-centric energy transition and market design mindful of system requirements. This involves contradictory goals and entails a series of trade-offs: (1) policy efficiency and simplicity: integrating new (and most of the time small and inexperienced) actors in a complex setting requires an efficient but simple framework to reduce transaction costs, for example, concerning balancing forecast responsibilities and allocation schemes like tenders; (2) predictability and flexibility: support schemes should be predictable both for investors and public finances but should be flexible for adapting to evolving market conditions; (3) sharing of benefits and costs: exemptions for some consumers lead to a higher end-price supported by the remaining consumers, which threatens their acceptance of vRES. These trade-offs touch upon particular interests of different actors that may be conflicting like those for example of consumers as (co-)owners on the one side and grid operators and other final end consumers on the other side. One way to reconcile these interests and align them with EU regulatory policy is the support and deployment of innovative organisational and contractual arrangements that would allow to pool and scale RE investments (co-)owned by consumers while opening them to combinations of municipal or commercial investments.
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