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Faculty of Economics

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Anaya, K. L., Giulietti, M. and Pollitt, M. G.

Where next for the electricity distribution system operator? Evidence from a survey of European DSOs and National Regulatory Authorities


Abstract: This paper seeks to shed light on the nature of optimal regulation of the electricity distribution system operator (DSO) over the period to 2025 and beyond, following the implementation of the EU Clean Energy Package and its constituent parts: Electricity Regulation (EU) 2019/943 and Electricity Directive (EU) 2019/944. We conducted two parallel surveys of DSOs and their national regulatory authorities (NRAs) across 39 European countries. This produced 39 responses from DSOs and 12 responses from NRAs covering, respectively, 40% and 78% of customers in those countries. We asked both DSOs and NRAs three sets of questions related to: (1) the definition and regulation of the future system operator function of the DSO; (2) lessons learned from transmission system operator (TSO) regulation that can be translated to the DSO; and (3) the way in which regulators support the capacity of the DSO to operate and coordinate the system. Our findings are consistent with the observation that the move towards a more active role for the DSO remains work in progress for both DSOs and their NRAs, given the fact that the Clean Energy Package has only passed into European Law relatively recently and some Member States are still implementing its provisions.

Keywords: distribution system operator, DSO, Electricity Regulation

JEL Codes: L94 L54 L21

Author links: Michael Pollitt  


EPRG Paper Link: 2201

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