Working paper / Energy
Future-proof tariff design : recovering sunk grid costs in a world where consumers are pushing back
Traditional analysis of distribution grid user’s reaction to tariffs assumes a low price sensitivity and a lack of alternative technologies to grid connection. This is radically changing with two technology breakthroughs: (1) Photovoltaics (PV) enable domestic and commercial consumers to self-produce energy; (2) Batteries allow self-producers to set both their grid energy and capacity parameters.
Contributing to the state of the art, the grid cost recovery problem is modelled as a non-cooperative game between consumers. In this game, the availability and costs of new technologies (such as PV and batteries) strategically interact with tariff structures. Four states of the world for user’s access to new technologies are distinguished and three tariff structures are evaluated. The assessed distribution network tariff structures are: energy volumetric charges with net-metering, energy volumetric charges for both injection and withdrawal, and capacity-based charges. Results show that the new distribution world -open by new technology choices for grid users- is highly interactive and threatens grid regulation not understanding it.