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Event Highlights


Electricity

Event Highlights

16.11.2018

Takeaways from the SmartNet Workshops

On 24-26 October 2018 in Florence, several stakeholders from TSOs/DSOs, Regulators, Utilities and Traders joined the SmartNet Workshops hosted by the Florence School of Regulation to discover […] 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

Electricity

Event Highlights

12.11.2018

Ready for the future of energy economics? In Florence, YEEES!

On 8 and 9 November, FSR had the pleasure to host the 25th Young Energy Economists and Engineers Seminar (YEEES). Fifteen PhD students from all […] read more

Gas

gas pipelines

Event Highlights

12.11.2018

Towards “Net Zero” Methane Emissions in the Gas Sector – Challenges and Opportunities

On the 15th of October 2018, the Florence School of Regulation and Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) jointly organised the policy workshop “Towards “Net Zero” Methane […] 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 Union Law

5th Vienna Forum on European Energy Law

Event Highlights

19.10.2018

The 6th Vienna Forum on European Energy Law

The Vienna Forum on European Energy Law in a joint initiative between the FSR Energy Union Law Area and the Energy Community Secretariat which provides […] read more

Gas

Event Highlights

17.07.2018

How to capture the value of energy storage in EU low carbon energy system?

On the 6th of July 2018, the Florence School of Regulation and Gas Infrastructure Europe (GIE) jointly organised a policy workshop dedicated to ‘The Value […] read more

Transport

Event Highlights

4.07.2018

The 7th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures- Interviews with the Authors of the Best Papers are available

The 7th Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures took place in Florence on June 21st and June 22nd, 2018. The 7th edition of the conference aimed […] read more

Universal Access to Energy

Open Africa power

Event Highlights

21.06.2018

FSR welcomes Open Africa Power initiative participants

FSR welcomed participants from the ‘Open Africa Power’ initiative at our home base in Florence this week. The African participants interacted with FSR researchers to understand the […] 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