Pre-Conference interview with Stephen Woodhouse of AF Pöyry on his conference intervention

30/08/2019

Question: What is the role of regulators in digitalization and how do we ensure increased use of technology is followed by adequate protection from cyber threats.

Woodhouse: Digitalisation will transform the energy business from end to end by driving efficiency gains, facilitating deep decarbonisaton, and transforming the customer relationship enabling new offerings such as the bundling of energy with appliances or other services, multiple retailers at a single meter etc.

In this new world, regulators need to:

  1. support innovation and digital initiatives in regulated businesses,
  2. speed up the evolution of network tariffs/connection access rights to target cost-reflectivity and avoid cross subsidy,
  3. update metering arrangements to support new multi-supplier business models, and
  4. adapt wholesale arrangements to reward flexibility especially from new sources, while avoiding subsidies for legacy generation.

It is not enough for regulators to be fast to respond: there needs to be a coherent vision between regulators, citizens, governments, the existing industry and potential entrants from out of the sector to identify possible worlds and to pro-actively prepare for them.