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Energy supply

About this study

(forthcoming – December 2009)

The energy supply industry as defined for the proposed study is included in NACE Rev. 2 Group 35, “electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply”. Thus the study will focus on the value chain of the utility business which includes production, transmission, distribution and trading of energy as well as it supply to final consumers:

Production of electricity and steam from any type of primary source – i.e. gas, coal, oil, wind, ocean and biomass as well as nuclear, hydro, solar and geothermal power – and any type of energy technology, including distributed generation.

Transmission and distribution (T&D) of energy, i.e. the physical delivery of electricity and steam from the generation plant to the users, and in case of gas from extraction or storage fields and regasification terminals to the users.

Trading, i.e. the wholesale of energy both on physical and derivative markets. The power or gas exchange operators (market operators) will not be included in the analysis.

Energy supply to final consumers which may be industrial, commercial or residential.

The study will focus on topics related to ICT and e-business along the energy supply chain. The focus will be on the issue how ICT and e-business can contribute to an efficient supply and consumption of energy. For each topic the study will provide a problem-oriented analysis with a certain scheme including ICT use, drivers and barriers, impacts, and policy implications:

ICT use: What types of ICT are available for supplying and consuming energy more effectively, and what is their development stage? What is their level of use among energy supplying and consuming companies?

Drivers and barriers: What are the drivers and barriers of ICT use in energy supply? Major drivers may typically include cost savings and regulation, and barriers may typically be investment costs and dominant market positions of some players. A closer look will provide deeper insights and further drivers and barriers.

Impacts: What are the impacts of ICT on energy market effectiveness, structure, business models, competitiveness and sustainability? What are the impacts on the economy at large, e.g. in terms of energy supply and saving?

Policy implications: What implications arise from the analysis of ICT in energy supply for decision makers in the European Commission, national governments and industry associations? The study will investigate the extent to which ICT allows to better meet the three key objectives of modern energy policy: efficiency, environmental protection and security of supply.

The study will deal with energy consumers, i.e. with the demand side which may be businesses or private households, from a supply side perspective. Consumers’ activities will only be examined to the extent that energy suppliers and consumers conclude specific agreements about energy provision and use.