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Sustainability 2017, 9(2), 212; doi:10.3390/su9020212

Experimenting with Law and Governance for Decentralized Electricity Systems: Adjusting Regulation to Reality?

Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability (CSTM), University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands
Department of European and Economic Law, Groningen Centre of Energy Law, University of Groningen, 9700 AB Groningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 20 January 2017 / Accepted: 1 February 2017 / Published: 5 February 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [217 KB, uploaded 5 February 2017]


Moving towards a low-carbon society calls not only for technological innovation, but also for new modes of governance. However, the current legal framework of the electricity sector, and the modes of governance that it establishes, impede innovation in the sector. To overcome this obstacle, in 2015 the Dutch government adopted a Crown decree for experiments with decentralized renewable electricity generation (Experimentation Decree) with the aim to generate insights on how to adjust the legal framework. The question remains whether regulation is being adopted to real-life settings, i.e., which lessons can be learned from experimentally acquired results regarding new modes of governance for decentralized electricity systems? To answer this question we apply an interdisciplinary approach: we investigate which modes of governance are established in the Experimentation Decree (legal research) and which ones are implemented in nine projects (governance research). Under the Decree, associations have to carry out all tasks in the electricity supply chain and can engage in collective generation, peer-to-peer supply and system operation. Other modes of governance, new actors for emerging activities and consumer involvement are limited. We conclude that the Experimentation Decree is too restricted regarding new modes of governance for a decentralized electricity system in real-life settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: renewable energy; governance; distributed generation; legislation; experimentation; energy transition renewable energy; governance; distributed generation; legislation; experimentation; energy transition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lammers, I.; Diestelmeier, L. Experimenting with Law and Governance for Decentralized Electricity Systems: Adjusting Regulation to Reality? Sustainability 2017, 9, 212.

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