Head of Programmes at the Adam Smith Institute, Charlotte Bowyer, wrote for City AM on how cutting back regulation within the energy sector could lead to increases in technology and innovation; revolutionising the industry just like Uber did with taxis. In her article, she also discussed our more recent paper "Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution", which found that the UK's current regulatory system severely limits room for innovation in the energy sector.
The current regulatory model was borne out of the privatisation of a vertically-integrated industry, where everything from electricity generation and transmission to distribution was performed by a single utility. The future of electricity generation and distribution will be nothing like this.
And in supposing a natural monopoly and applying a static model of innovation, even well-intentioned interventions have an adverse effect on competition, creating an institutional framework in which supplier innovation is severely hampered.
The report, Power Up: The framework for a new era of UK energy distribution, argues that new technologies such as smart grids and distributed energy production can revolutionise old models of energy distribution and pricing, in the same way that apps like Uber are disrupting traditional models of transport.