Demo Project 4: Regulatory Zone

Enable the future: Regulatory zones unlock innovation potential.

Vision (DP04) in a nutshell

DP04 engages authorities to examine regulatory, legal and data security/protection topics to create a special regulatory zone within the assigned distributed positive energy block (DPEB) to implement innovative technologies and test new regulatory concepts. The innovative PEB/D solutions piloted in the regulatory zone enable the annual positive energy balance for the demonstration area. 

Problem addressed & specific objective

Current city-governance structures and regulations restrict certain types of innovation, particularly if these innovations do not fit the framework of existing structures. This creates barriers and constraints for innovative potential, particularly relating to the creation, development and advancement of positive energy districts (PEDs). To ensure that innovation takes place across all aspects of society (municipal authorities, energy providers, business environment, and the citizen), there is a need for a mechanism to create spaces that enable and support innovation from a commercial and regulatory point of view. 

To grant dispensation from the regulatory framework, it should be of value for the  greater good of society. For the regulatory dispensation related to PED projects, the regulating authority should be aware of the potential and benefits of a decentralized energy system with regard to storage, balancing and energy and flexibility trading. For local and national regulatory authorities, it is important that the solutions show a positive social economic impact and not only a positive economic impact. 

Related +CityxChange solutions

Regulatory sandbox:

The Regulatory Sandbox is a process towards the local, national, or European regulatory authorities in order to trial innovation in cities. This sandbox shows how EU legislations and national regulations influence the process of establishing not only PEBs, but also positive energy districts (PEDs) and community grid systems (CGSs) – and how they could be processed and operated within the framework of a local energy market. Its implementation framework includes recommendations for how such regulatory sandboxes can be planned, designed, implemented, operated, monitored and scaled up in time and space.

Recommendations for authorities and cities:  

  • Implement EU Energy Directives within the national contexts
  • Explore alternative approaches for PEB pilot projects to counter regulatory delay.