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Address emerging clean tech or risk impeding energy transition, regulators warned

Image: Nissan.

Image: Nissan.

Energy regulators must address the rise of bundled distributed generation technologies, EV charging infrastructure and cyber security or risk impeding the clean energy transition, a new report from the Council of European Energy Regulators has said.

The report, published last week, identifies five particular trends that stand to shape the emerging future energy market. The CEER has settled on smart home and IOT technologies; self-generation; energy storage; electric vehicles and charging points, and blockchain.

And having analysed these trends, the CEER has determined that further investigation is required to accelerate the energy transition in four particular areas.

Primarily the council has highlighted the need for collaboration on areas surrounding cyber security and data privacy alongside standardisation and monitoring of those areas.

Cyber security is an area that has continued to rise in prominence within the energy sector as it continues to digitise, while in the UK there are differing points of view on who actually owns energy consumption and usage data – aside from the consumer – especially as the adoption of smart meters and introduction of half-hourly settlements makes such data more accurate and valuable.

Meanwhile, the CEER has also identified the need for additional services or bundled product packages that incorporate self-generation such as solar PV, energy storage, energy efficiency and maintenance sold alongside an energy supply contract.

This will not come as much of a surprise to energy suppliers and other industry players already selling and bundling these services, such as E.On and EDF which have both launched solar-plus-storage products across Europe, and the likes of Orsted which has developed an ‘Energy as a Service’ offering for C&I customers.

“Regulation must be stable, but not static, and energy regulators must facilitate positive change."

Garrett Blaney, CEER president.

However the CEER has identified potential concerns relating to competition, consumer protections and transparency, and intends to continue to promote the concept for a fit-for-purpose market design that addresses those issues.

The council is to also consider whether or not there is a need for specific energy-related rules regarding EV charging infrastructure to ensure competition and consumer protection principles are adhered to.

In general, the CEER has considered that its work is to remove barriers to market to prevent new and emerging technologies from being impeded, but simultaneously to consider regulatory changes that might be needed protect consumers as the way they interact with, and participate in, energy markets evolves.

Garrett Blaney, president at the CEER, said that energy regulators should be the “enablers” of digitalised energy technologies.

“Regulation must be stable, but not static, and energy regulators must facilitate positive change. Hence, our 3D strategy focuses on digitalisation, decarbonisation at least cost, and dynamic regulation.”

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