User-Centered Innovation and Regulatory Framework: Energy Prosumers’ Market Access in EU Regulation
22 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2016 Last revised: 15 Aug 2016
Date Written: May 30, 2016
European energy consumers who previously had a rather passive, consuming role, and were confronted with top-down determined energy supply options, services, as well as prices, are now assuming a more proactive role, in some cases becoming prosumers of energy. Originally the focus of both individual and collective prosumers has been on local sustainable energy production. However currently the focus is slowly shifting to both own production and own consumption of local sustainable energy, as well as to participation in the local and national market (e.g. supplying energy to one’s neighbors or to one’s family residing in a different region).
As technology progresses and the formats of market design evolve, the problem of ‘regulatory disconnection’ could arise, meaning that the existent regulatory framework might not be ‘fit for purpose’ any longer due to its disconnection from rapidly developing innovation. In such cases the existing regulatory framework (perhaps unintentionally) represent obstacles for (further) development of the local energy in Europe. In the current research we focus on the specific type of innovation, and namely user-centered innovation by the local sustainable energy collectives, illustrated by the transactions between individual and collective prosumers of the local energy, be it peer-to-peer transactions or interaction with national energy market players, e.g. energy suppliers. In order to perform such transactions, prosumers necessitate market access. The issue of prosumers’ market access is used as a case study in order to test current degree of ‘fit’ between the European regulatory framework on one hand and innovation in the energy sector on the other hand.
Keywords: Energy Law, Energy Regulation, User-Centred Innovation, Consumer, Prosumer, Energy Market
JEL Classification: D10, K23, K33, O33, O38, Q42, Q48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation