ECN publication
Gemeentelijk energie- en klimaatbeleid in een geliberaliseerde energiemarkt
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1-5-2001
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-C--01-035 ECN publication
Number of pages: Full text:
25 Download PDF  

Due to the ongoing process of liberalisation, Dutch municipal energypolicy is undergoing significant changes. The probable privatisation of energy companies, the change from what used to be ?their? local energy company to what will become ?a? energy company, results in a need for local administrations to build up energy knowledge, end-use information and financial resources that ?their? energy companies used to share but, because of operating in a competitive market, are now more reluctant to do so. On the other hand offers privatisation and the selling of shares the possibility for some local governments to collect a significant sum of money which can be addressed to energy policy.

This process of growing responsibility of local administrations for their own energy policy co-incides with the structural change of the nature of the energy supply in the Netherlands. The change towards a more decentralised energy supply results in more energy systems (e.g. PV and wind) coming under the influence of local regulations. Municipal governments will have to act more like actors in a complex policy network, playing different roles at different times in different situations, often stimulating and regulating at the same time. The growing popularity of platforms like energy agencies, bringing together parties like the local government, energy companies and commercial- and housing associations are examples hereof.

In this report, another new role for local governments resulting from the liberalisation process is highlighted: the role energy consumer. It is estimated that the aggregated electricity demand re-sulting from activities under direct municipal responsibility (e.g. municipal dwellings, traffic lights, public lighting) amounts to a fairly large share of the market. Due to the public interests vested in the local administrations, it is expected that an important part of this demand is de-mand for green electricity.

Also, local governments can use the energy markets to act as buyers of energy. The purchased energy can then be distributed to e.g. citizens categorised in the low-income group. It is ex-pected that in a liberalised market energy prices will rise. In this competitive market energy companies are probably less willing to continue their service when bills are overdue or adapt their price when energy costs are unevenly high for certain groups. It is in these situations that local governments, using their new possible role as energy buyer and distributor, can make sure that for the lower income group access to energy is guaranteed, thus adding a new component to their social policy, reminiscent of the days before the liberalisation process, when local governments controlled local energy supply.

Back to List