Balancing between Competition and Coordination in Smart Grids: A Common Information Platform (CIP)

Christine Brandstätt, Gert Brunekreeft, Marius Buchmann*, Nele Friedrichsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The commercial value added in electricity distribution networks and smart grids is increasing. Concerns about competition on a level-playing field are raised. The debate on vertical network unbundling is reaching the distribution networks. Primary driver for this discussion is the requirement to exchange information in smart grids in a neutral and non-discriminatory way. Against the background of the unbundling discussion for distribution networks, we introduce a new approach: The Common Information Platform (CIP). The CIP tries to balance better between competition and coordination. The CIP adds two new dimensions. First, it "unbundles" information and data management as the key step in the value chain. Correspondingly, the CIP avoids such drastic measures as network ownership unbundling and legal unbundling will suffice. Second, it does not "separate" information and data management from the sector, but rather involves third parties in the rulemaking process; the governance structure is "common" instead of "independent".
Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomics of Energy and Environmental Policy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)93-109
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Power systems
  • Power distribution
  • Information and data management
  • Smart grid

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