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ACM starts preparations for the new regulatory period for system operators

The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) carries out extensive research into the regulatory method that will best fit the energy transition as well as the challenges that come with it. Through its regulation, ACM wishes to accelerate the energy transition as much as possible. Many companies are transitioning from fossil fuels to electricity generated by wind and solar farms in order to achieve the climate goals. Households more and more often have solar panels, electric cars, or heat pumps. As a result, more and more electricity needs to be transported, and less and less natural gas is consumed. That is why it is expected that, over the coming years, system operators need to invest billions in the grids.

For each new regulatory period, ACM sets what is called the method decisions, in which is laid down the calculation method that will be used for determining the operators’ revenues for three to five years. An important question for the new regulatory period from 2027 is how regulation can contribute to making sure that sufficient investments are made on time. In that process, ACM must strike a balance between the three interests of affordability, reliability, and sustainability, now and in the future.

ACM commissioned a study into the question of how ACM through its regulation of the system operators is able to help accelerate the energy transition. At ACM’s request, professor Brunekreeft explored opportunities for stimulating grid upgrades through tariff regulation. To see real-world examples in other countries, ACM commissioned research agency DNV to present an overview of the regulatory methods used by system operators in other countries (predominantly European ones).

What are the next steps?

After the summer, ACM will launch a consultation, in which it will ask market participants how the future regulatory method should be structured best: what types of incentives can be included in the regulatory method, and how can these be designed specifically. The studies conducted by Mr. Brunekreeft and DNV will serve as input for this consultation. In advance of that consultation, ACM has published both studies on its website.

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