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

Imke Lammers, Lea Diestelmeier

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • METIS-321351
  • IR-103257

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