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Planning of Distribution Systems is facing several new challenges:
(1) The portion of decentralized renewable sources within the distribution area is increasing (leading to inversion of power flows and potential congestions).
(2) Prediction scenarios describing the future construction of renewable energy sources resp. decommissioning of conventional generation units are divergent and heterogeneous.
(3) The asset base mainly built during economic expansion periods within the last century are shifting to critical states.
(4) Investment budgets are shrinking.
An isolated treatment of each aspect cannot lead to a feasible approach since the objectives are in conflict to each other. This paper outlines an integrated computational approach for optimizing all aspects simultaneously. The solution is guided by actual planning principles of planning experts from the DSO partner.
The basic idea of an integrated evolutionary approach for grid development and strategic asset management was presented during CIRED 2013. This paper deals with the experience of the implementation phase and with first practical results of this new approach.
The synergetic combination of strategic Asset Management (based on age and conditions) and capacity-based Network Development (expansion planning) leads to an additional level of technical and economical optimization potential. The investment strategy is linked to the main technical drivers: condition and functional demands. The adaption to uncertain future requirements is based on the analysis of a variety of different load and feed-in scenarios. This approach enables the optimization of future grid structures combining (n-1) contingency analysis, asset simulation and a hybrid evolutionary algorithm. Additional benefits could be achieved.
The Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER) periodically surveys and analyses the quality
of electricity supply in its member countries. This 4th Benchmarking Report on Quality of Electricity
Supply addresses the three major aspects of electricity quality, namely continuity of supply, voltage
quality and commercial quality.
In the framework of the G8 of Energy Ministers, Rome, 24-25 May 2009, gas and electricity
regulators from around the world committed to prepare a report on regulatory practices for
energy efficiency1 to be presented to the Muskoka G8 meeting of 25 and 26 June 2010.
This report is the first ever produced by the ICER, the recently founded International
Confederation of Energy Regulators2. ICER was founded in October 2009 to enable the world’s
gas and electricity regulators to co-operate on major global issues. The report presents
information gathered from the world’s energy markets on regulatory practices aimed at fostering
In the preparation of this report we encountered a number of challenges:
- Energy efficiency is a relatively under-researched field in comparison with its importance
as an area of great policy interest in tackling climate change;
- There is very limited systematic gathering of information on energy efficiency beyond
national or regional boundaries;
- Comparative analysis of the different approaches used to promote energy efficiency
worldwide is also very limited.
This report is the first step in seeking to address these challenges, and through our planned
future work we expect to provide a significant contribution to the development of energy
efficiency policy and the identification and spread of best regulatory practice.
This paper updates the literature on water utility benchmarking studies carried out worldwide, focusing on scale and scope economies. Using meta-regression analysis, the study investigates which variables from published studies influence these economies. Our analysis led to several conclusions. The results indicate that there is a higher probability of finding diseconomies of scale and scope in large utilities; however, only the results for scale economies are significant. Diseconomies of scale and scope are more likely to be found in publicly-owned utilities than when the ownership is mostly private; as would be expected, multi-utilities are more likely to have scale and scope economies.
A smarter, modernized, and expanded grid will be pivotal to the United States’ world leadership in a clean energy future. This policy framework focuses on the deployment of information and communications technologies in the electricity sector. As they are developed and deployed, these smart grid technologies and applications will bring new capabilities to utilities and their customers. In tandem with the development and deployment of high-capacity transmission lines, which is a topic beyond the scope of this report, smart grid technologies will play an important role in supporting the increased use of clean energy.
This paper starts with the premise that the affordability of electricity and natural gas to all households demands some form of energy assistance (EA) funded by utilities and their customers. Although taxpayer-funded programs to help low-income households may be more economically justified, the political reality is that legislatures and executive branches of government may require utilities along with regulatory support to assume this responsibility. Utility-funded programs, for example, are common in the U.S.
Smart regulation demands that EA initiatives have favorable benefit-cost ratios. Regulators should strive to assure that each dollar expended returns the highest possible dividend and that EA initiatives do not interfere with other regulatory objectives.
This paper emphasizes that governmental policy requiring utilities to provide monetary assistance to low-income households must address several questions, including: (1) How much assistance should a utility provide in view of governmental and non-utility private assistance (e.g., the number of dollars offered to eligible households)? (2) Who should pay for this assistance (e.g., residential customers, all customers, utility shareholders)? (3) How should the utility collect the money in rates? (4) What constitutes an appropriate financial effect on subsidizing customers? and (5) How should the utility distribute the assistance to eligible households (e.g., discount rate, lump-sum payment)?
This paper identifies criteria that public utility regulators can apply to assess the effectiveness of EA initiatives. It discusses features of EA actions that are likely to make then successful from a regulatory and societal perspective. Overall, the paper recommends that regulators review EA actions to determine whether they are achieving the regulatory goal of utility-service affordability: (1) most effectively and (2) with minimal adverse effects on other regulatory and public-policy goals.
Winner #2 of the 2016 ERRA Regulatory Research Award.
Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town
This paper provides an overview of market-oriented power sector reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America over the past twenty-five years. The role of political economy contextualities in driving, constraining or otherwise influencing power sector reform is explored through a review of the essential literature. Though this literature is considered to have considerably expanded the scope of understanding around power sector reform and development, political economy research in the area is found to be lacking in methodological coherence and theoretical substance. Future efforts are needed to systematically bring together the array of insights, methodological approaches and recommendations in this literature, as well as better bound, differentiate and systemise political economy research in the area going forward. Two initial frameworks are advanced through this paper in relation to this dual research imperative.
This report analyzes the progress and challenges of 16 countries in the Danube watershed in delivering sustainable water and wastewater services to all, while meeting the European Union environmental acquis communautaire. After putting the services that are being delivered into context, the report analyzes the organization of services in the region and the level of access to services, that is, how well countries are doing in terms of providing access to water and wastewater services for the entire population. It then looks at the performance of the sector, including the quality of services provided and customer satisfaction with it. It also draws a picture of the efficiency of services, including
whether they reflect accepted good practices. Finally, it analyzes the financing of services, looking at whether the financing of operation, maintenance, and investments is secured and affordable. The report is complemented by 16 country notes available at SoS.danubis.org.
Ireland and Northern Ireland have policy objectives to have over 37% of total electricity consumption from wind power plants by 2020. This poses new operational challenges to power system operation and will significantly alter the performance envelope needed and provided from the system portfolio. In addition to these challenges, generators do not always perform to their expected standards during events. System operators need to understand the fundamental changes to system behavior with increased wind generation along with the actual performance capabilities of the portfolio in order to design and operate a power system which can securely and efficientlymanage the highest penetration of wind power plants.
High learning rates and rapid cost decreases for new technologies in recent years have combined with effective support policies to accelerate the spread of renewable energy around the world. However, this dynamism in the market creates new challenges for policy makers seeking to promote the long-term transition to renewable sources and technologies.
Adapting Renewable Energy Policies to Dynamic Market Conditions provides an overview of the challenges arising from the rapidly changing global market, along with various possible policy responses. For example, cost-tracking features, such as auctions for renewable energy, provide market transparency and predictability, along with helping to phase out support at the right time. Grid connections and storage must also be planned and upgraded in order to integrate growing shares of variable renewables, such as solar and wind power.
The report presents analytical frameworks to assess suitable policies for each country, depending on level of economic development, the desire to adopt wind, solar, smart-grid, storage or other specific technologies, and the need to address utilities, independent power producers and consumers.