Smart market designs for the global energy transition

Electricity markets were created in the last century for a world powered by fossil energies and they do not work very well for a power system based largely on intermittent RES. Today, electricity networks worldwide are experiencing dramatic increases in demand as well as in terms of RE capacity increments. They need to urgently adapt simultaneously to several new megatrends and challenges, including the increasing electrification of economies and the digitalisation of societies as well as quickly diversifying methods of carbon-neutral power generation and storage.

Part of reaching the goal of carbon neutrality lies in digitising power markets through many of the same methods that have allowed us to digitise and integrate modern financial markets. This deeply impacts the energy sector, connecting everybody to everything, and creating many new market opportunities. A main goal must therefore be to avoid misalignments and systemic frictions between the integration of renewables and existing market coordination modules, including the wholesale market, the retail market, and network regulation. Coherence across policy areas is essential and the point is that unless there is a favourable market design that is flexible, inclusive and dynamic, it will be difficult to develop digitised green power business models and rapidly deploy services. This represents a bit of a chicken and egg problem.

This session will provide an overview of the opportunities associated with the digitalisation of increasingly diversified and carbon-neutral electricity markets and the main challenges to realising these opportunities. Smart market designs help to seize those opportunities, f.i. with prosumer models. But there are also risks, such as new monopolies. How can these new paradigms be combined to accelerate the energy transition?