CEER and ACER provide recommendations on anticipatory investments to accelerate grid expansion for the energy transition

CEER and EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) publish a paper reviewing the national treatment of anticipatory investments and proposing ways to facilitate the necessary grid enforcement to meet the EU’s climate and energy targets.

Requested by the European Commission as a follow up of the

9th Energy Infrastructure Forum

(June 2023), this paper analyses the main barriers to anticipatory investments and provides a set of recommendations to promote national incentive schemes to overcome them.

What are energy regulators’ key findings? 

In reviewing the current national regulatory frameworks for energy infrastructure investment, CEER and ACER find that:

  • Several National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) reported no need for further actions at national level with anticipatory investments but called to properly implement the already foreseen measures.
  • System operators often adopt a forward-looking approach in planning and anticipate future generation and demand.
  • The same regulatory treatment is applied to anticipatory investments as for other types of grid investments.

What are energy regulators’ recommendations?

Consistent with previous


, CEER and ACER recommend:

  • Reinforcing the role of energy regulators (and the tools at their disposal) in assessing energy infrastructure needs and projects; facilitating NRAs’ decision-making process by reducing uncertainties on the development of new network usages.
  • Encouraging electricity network users (like generators) to flag their potential connection requests as early as possible.
  • Improving coordination and information exchange amongst future network users, network operators and energy regulators as a basis to speed-up the regulatory validation of grid investments.
  • Electricity Transmission System Operators (under the oversight of the energy regulator) improving the identification of electricity transmission needs by providing detailed analysis and transparency of their results.
  • Countries having separate regulatory approvals for permit granting and construction to expedite project implementation and minimise “sunk costs” in case the project is not needed.
  • Regulators evaluating the potential welfare loss from a “too early” or “too late” implementation of projects.

What are the next steps?

This paper aims to contribute to the discussions (and actions to be taken) on anticipatory investments foreseen in the framework of the

European Commission’s Grid Action Plan

to accelerate the development of smart electricity grids and support the rollout of renewables.

Register here.