Electricity Networks: Infrastructure and Operations

Too complex for a resource?

About this report

Electricity security remains a priority of energy policy and continuous electrification will further enhance the importance in the years to come. Market liberalisation has brought substantial benefits to societies, including competition, innovation, more client-oriented services and the reduced needs for public expenditure. Further, the path of decarbonisation is a must but experiences with many new technologies and policies show their many implications on power systems.

Electricity networks form the backbone of reliable and affordable power systems and also significantly support the inception of renewable generation. The importance of distribution and transmission networks has to be well understood by policy makers and regulators to maintain the sensitive balance within the policy triangle of reliability, affordability and sustainability as power systems rapidly change. Failures in choosing the right institutions and regulatory frameworks to operate and build networks will put the sensitive balance within the policy triangle at risk.

“Too complex for a resource?” identifies the key challenges the electricity distribution and transmission networks face today and in the future. It further provides for best practice examples on institutional design choices and regulatory frameworks for sound network service provision but also highlights the importance of additional responses required. More market-based and dynamic frameworks for various system services, the growing need for active service participation of renewable generators and highly independent and transparent central operators seem to be at the heart of these responses. “Too complex for a resource?” finds that the answer to the challenges ahead is not always more infrastructure and that networks and the services they provide have to be regarded as equal part of the total power system. Thus, accurate and dynamic cost allocation can significantly support to transform public good-type network services into resources with market values.