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21.12.2018

We are hiring! Join the FSR online team

We are looking for a Project Assistant to join the FSR Energy & Climate online team! Main tasks and responsibilities include: Assist the FSR team […] read more

Energy Policy

Event Highlights

19.12.2018

Follow the FSR Researchers! Latest news from Milan and Rome

On 11 December 2018 in Milan…   Maria Olczak and Tim Schittekatte from FSR participated to the 3rd AIEE Energy Symposium hosted at Bocconi University. Maria Olczak, FSR […] read more

Energy Policy

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12.12.2018

The FSR Global Forum on Energy World Transition

#FSRGlobalForum The Florence School of Regulation (FSR) is hosting a 4-day event to facilitate transnational knowledge exchange on key aspects of the world energy transition on 25-28 March […] read more

Energy Policy

Alberto Pototschnig

Event Highlights

13.11.2018

Coupling the Sectors

On Friday 12 October 2018, the Florence School of Regulation hosted the Policy Workshop: ‘Coupling the Sectors’, directed by Alberto Pototschnig (FSR Part-time Professor). The […] read more

Energy Policy

PAC 2018

Event Highlights

8.11.2018

Debating FSR research outcomes – Policy Advisory Council

On Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th November, the Florence School of Regulation hosted the 2018 Autumn edition of its Policy Advisory Council (PAC). The Policy […] read more

Energy Policy

News

25.09.2018

Unfiltered remarks from Florence (J.M. Glachant before the Madrid Forum)

Unfiltered remarks from Florence before the Madrid Forum by Jean-Michel Glachant, Director, Florence School of Regulation (European University Institute, Florence, Italy) The current rush towards […] read more

Energy Policy

WFER

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19.03.2018

FSR in Mexico! The World Forum on Energy Regulation

This week, the FSR and its partners will be in Cancun to take part in the ‘The World Forum on Energy Regulation (WFER)’. The FSR delegation […] read more

Energy PolicyEnergy Union Law

FSR meets with Embassy of Italy in Brazil

As part of the FSR Global Programme, the Florence School of Regulation was in Brasilia from March 7 to 10 to further the cooperation with the Brazilian […] read more

Energy PolicyEnergy Union Law

News

16.03.2018

The FSR Collaborates with the Regulators of Brazil

The Florence School of Regulation delegation composed of Director Jean-Michel Glachant, Swetha RaviKumar Bhagwat, Head of Global Relations and Anne-Marie Kehoe, Energy Union Law Coordinator, […] read more

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Alberto Pototschnig

Coupling the Sectors

- Energy Policy

On Friday 12 October 2018, the Florence School of Regulation hosted the Policy Workshop: ‘Coupling the Sectors’, directed by Alberto Pototschnig (FSR Part-time Professor). The event gathered academics, representatives of European and national institutions as well as industry practitioners from both the electricity and gas sectors. The debate focused on how, and to what extent, the two sectors could be integrated to better tackle the challenges facing the evolving energy scenario.

The workshop was structured in two main sessions. The first investigated how electricity and gas markets and systems can be coupled beyond the current level of integration. The second session focused on the potential of the integration of end-use sectors such as mobility, heating and cooling.

Consensus was reached on the need for ‘sector coupling’ between gas and electricity and for a greater integration between different sectors and activities to support the EU decarbonisation efforts and to foster energy transition. Despite the fact that some levels of integration have already been in place for some time, additional efforts are necessary to materialise new synergies and to optimise existing ones. One of the examples could be using the gas infrastructure to support the integration of higher shares of variable renewable electricity via Power-to-Gas technology.

Several challenges to sector coupling’s practical implementation were also highlighted. Existing infrastructures does not seem sufficient and the construction of new ones might be required, mainly because energy would have to flow across borders as well as within the different sectors. A higher degree of coordination in infrastructures planning would also be crucial in this respect. New technological solutions have to be implemented taking into account the growing number of cyber threats and ensuring high levels of cyber-security.

An additional challenge is the investment in innovation and the quest for new business models embracing elements of sector coupling. Investing in research and development but also in innovative technological applications is pivotal for an effective implementation of sector coupling. The full potential of solutions such as gas-to-power, hydrogen technologies and batteries is yet to be fully explored.

Strengthened political support is also needed to attract new investments in the gas sector and to foster both production and usage of renewable gas. Its relevance in the decarbonisation strategy in Europe and worldwide should be reinforced and new applications of renewable gas should be encouraged.  Concurrently, markets and regulations should adapt to a greater level of coordination at national and European level. Support to power-to-gas facilities, for instance, should be preferably market driven instead of heavily regulated. Traditional energy regulation might also not be suitable nor applicable to sector coupling. The new approach should ensure a higher level of flexibility and look at other regulatory domains, as competition law or telecom, for a comparative analysis.

The workshop’s concluding discussions showed that the energy sector is now ripe for a ‘sector coupling’ between gas and electricity. Nevertheless, ‘coupling’ beyond, sometimes referred to as ‘sector integration’, seems to be very challenging at this stage. Different sectors appear to require a ‘softer’ integration than a coupling: new integration models, yet to be explored, are needed. Such conclusions opened up the possibility for a new workshop to investigate further the taxonomy and the practical implications of both sector coupling and sector integration.

Regulatory Policy Workshop: Coupling the Sectors

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