ICER reports significant achievements at the Fifth World Forum on Energy Regulation in Quebec City, Canada in May 2012.
ICER has published four reports, featuring international case studies following its recent world forum on energy regulation. For all publications including ICER presentations and conference proceedings, click here.
ICER's work plan leading up to the next forum in Istanbul in 2015 includes the following areas of focus.
1. Technological change and renewables
WFER V discussed the growing drivers for change resulting from changing technologies, the adoption by many countries of increasingly challenging climate change goals, the technological developments in non-conventional gas production, and the current reassessment of nuclear generation technology. Whilst regulated investments in network infrastructure offer stability, uncertainty about the location and sizing of such investments is increasing. Regulation has a role in helping to manage the uncertainty of commercial investments. The Forum welcomed ICER’s intention to assess the likely effects of new technologies which are already changing the way electricity is generated and stored, how gas and electricity networks are developed and operated, as well as the opportunities such technologies may present.
2. Opening of markets
WFER V discussed the increasing interaction between energy markets regionally and globally, including: regulatory challenges of cross-border investments, energy projects to enhance regional security of supply, and interconnection of isolated countries; the potential to enhance security of supply through greater market integration; and the potential impact of the further development of shale gas production, LNG and CCS technologies. ICER plans to examine the impacts of these interactions whilst acknowledging regionally specific features resulting from legal, regulatory and market development differences.
3. Regulatory best practice
The Forum acknowledged ICER’s efforts to enhance the independence of regulators and ensure a robust institutional framework related to the governance of the regulators. The Forum welcomed ICER’s intention to continue to develop its work on regulatory best practices and on how these practices could be introduced in practice given the different circumstances of different regions. A highlight of the Forum was the presentation of ICER’s 2012 Distinguished Scholar Awards. In view of the contribution that academia can make, ICER’s intends to step up links with academic bodies.
4. Consumer issues
A central theme of WFER V was consumer issues. The Forum discussed the increasing role of consumers in the development of energy markets, including: the challenge of increasing the capacity of consumers to guard their own interests; ways in which consumer protection measures may be enhanced, and the particular challenges faced by large consumers. The Forum welcomed ICER’s intention to examine how vulnerable energy consumers, both domestic customers and small enterprises, are affected as energy markets develop, the consumer protection and empowerment role of regulators and regulatory instruments which can be used to facilitate affordable access to energy. This examination will focus on the very diverse picture of different regions.