Michael Fell, Alexandra Schneiders and Blanche Lormeteau
- France has led the way on legislation, while the UK’s regulatory sandbox is seen as highly innovative.
- Both countries share similar challenges, such as how to re-tool network charging and taxes to accommodate forms of collective consumption.
- Closer collaboration between the two countries would lead to more efficient learning and effective action – this briefing proposes key shared and individual priorities.
In June 2018, researchers from University College London and the Sorbonne brought together a range of policy, industry and academic stakeholders to discuss the regulation of self-consumption and peer-to- peer (P2P) trading of energy in France and the UK. This note summarises the main points emerging from the event.
There are important differences in regulatory context between the two countries. In the UK, P2P trading is only allowed under trial conditions in a regulatory sandbox run by the regulator, Ofgem. A number of such trials are underway, and Elexon (the British organisation in charge of balancing / settlement) is considering how a multiple supplier model could operate in practice in its own sandbox. The sandbox model was admired by French participants for its support of innovation.
In France, a recent law gives people the right to self-consume energy they generate, either individually or collectively when they are part of the same legal entity and connected to the same low-voltage substation. The law is a strong signal of intent from the French government, but lack of action in other areas such as network charging and taxes means that collective self-consumption (CSC) remains uneconomical in practice.
We identified a number of challenges in common to both countries relating to peer-to-peer trading and collective self-consumption:
- How to reform network charging and taxes.
- How to ensure fair value for consumers.
- Understanding the impact on vulnerable consumers.
- Identifying a clear definition of P2P trading and CSC.
- Defining the rights and obligations of prosumers in legislation.
- Understanding requirements for, and limits to, data ownership and sharing.
- How to integrate new technologies, e.g. blockchain.
- What role there is or should be for local actors in encouraging collective self-consumption.
- Quantifying the economic and social benefits of collective self-consumption and P2P.
Fell, M.J., Schneiders, A. and Lormeteau, B. 2018. France and UK are well positioned to learn from each other on self-consumption and peer-to-peer energy tradingOpens in a new tab. UCL Energy Institute Policy brief.
Banner photo credit: Alireza Attari on Unsplash