Association Webinars:
Innovation & Disruption in the Electricity Sector: What Future for Markets?


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Innovation and disruption are not new in the electricity sector, as we have seen in the last 30 years with open wholesale markets and combined cycle gas turbine power plants, open retail markets and real-time consumption metering. However, today, or tomorrow, we could face many more innovations and disruptions.

On the supply side one can see how renewable intermittent generation, and its low marginal costs, is becoming mainstream; and how storage is increasingly considered as a new important resource for managing the energy system. On the demand side one can see active consumers (as prosumers or prosumagers), new kind of intermediaries (as aggregators or communities), and digital tools of interaction (as sensors, actuators, or platforms).

Technologies are also redrawing the boundaries of the electricity sector, with an increasing electrification of road mobility, homes and buildings’ heating & cooling.

All these novelties call for new business models, from “green majors” to “asset light suppliers”, from “peer-to-peer” to “interactive building managers.” Possibly, the use of a strong carbon tax as the main incentive to fuel the energy transition, instead of targeted technology push by public authorities, might again change the entire landscape.

In these many waves, how will markets adapt, transform or disappear? Will China or Africa define their own ways?

These topics are what the authors of the new Handbook on Electricity Markets, recently edited by Jean-Michel Glachant, Paul Joskow and Michael Pollitt, will discuss with you in this webinar, jointly organized by IAEE and the Florence School of Regulation (FSR).

Webinar Structure

Panel One (10:00-11:00 am Eastern Time)

Disruption… or New Normal in the Power Sector?”

Moderator: Jean-Michel Glachant


  • Karsten Neuhoff
  • Fereidoon Sioshansi
  • Karen Palmer 
  • Christopher Knittel 
  • David Reiner

A discussion with audience follows 

Panel Two (11:00 am - 12:00 pm Eastern Time)

Any Future for Markets? Any Market Perfectly Fit for Disruptions?

Moderator: Michael Pollitt


  • Richard Green 
  • Michael Pollitt
  • Ignacio Pèrez-Arriaga
  • Vivien Foster 
  • Xu Yi-chong 

A discussion with audience follows 


Jean-Michel Glachant is the Director of the Florence School of Regulation, European University Institute, Italy, and the Holder of the Loyola de Palacio Chair. He took his PhD in economics at La Sorbonne in France, where he later became professor. He has been advisor to the European Commission and the French Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE). He has been coordinator and scientific advisor of several European research projects and editor-in-chief of Economics of Energy & Environmental Policy (EEEP). He is currently President-elect of the International Association for Energy Economics.

Michael Pollitt is Professor of Business Economics and Assistant Director of the Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Michael is a Fellow in Economics and Management at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and has particular research interests in the future of electricity markets and electricity networks under deep decarbonisation. He has published 12 books and over 90 refereed journal articles on efficiency analysis, energy policy and business ethics. He is currently a vice-president of the International Association for Energy Economics.


Vivien Foster is the Chief Economist for the Infrastructure Vice-Presidency of the World Bank. During her 20 years at the World Bank she has played a variety of leadership roles. Throughout, her focus has been on the intersection between network infrastructures and economic policy. She has contributed to client dialogue, as well as advisory and lending engagements, in more than 30 countries. Prior to joining the World Bank, Vivien worked as a Managing Consultant of Oxford Economic Research Associates Ltd in the UK. She is a graduate of Oxford University. She also holds a Master’s from Stanford University and a Doctorate from University College London, both in Economics.

Richard Green is Professor of Sustainable Energy Business at Imperial College Business School, London. He was previously Professor of Energy Economics at the University of Birmingham and Professor of Economics at the University of Hull, having started his career at the Department of Applied Economics, University of Cambridge. He has been working on the economics and regulation of electricity markets for over 30 years.

Christopher R. Knittel is the George P. Shultz Professor of Applied Economics at the Sloan School of Management, Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, and Co-Director of the MITEI Low-Carbon Energy Center for Electric Power Systems Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Professor Knittel received his MA in Economics from University of California at Davis and a PhD in Economics from University of California at Berkeley. His research focuses on environmental economics, industrial organisation, and applied econometrics.

Karsten Neuhoff leads the Climate Policy Department at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) and is Professor at the TU Berlin. He holds a PhD in Economics from Cambridge University, UK. His research focuses on how policies and markets can be designed to achieve carbon neutrality in the power, industry and building sector. He (co-) authored dozens of research articles, policy briefs and, inter alia, the book Planetary Economics: Energy, Climate Change and the three domains of sustainable development.

Karen Palmer is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Electric Power Program at Resources for the Future, Washington, DC, US. Dr Palmer specializes in the economics of environmental regulation and public utility regulation, particularly on issues at the intersection of climate policy and electricity. In the 1990s, Dr Palmer was a visiting economist in the Office of Economic Policy at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She was elected as a Fellow of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economics in 2018.

Ignacio J. Pérez-Arriaga holds a MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering at MIT, USA, and an electrical engineering degree at Comillas University, Spain. He is MIT visiting professor since 2008, professor at the Institute for Research in Technology (IIT, Comillas) since 1981, and training director at the Florence School of Regulation, Italy since 2004. Former commissioner in Spain and Ireland and former member of the Board of Appeal of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), he is a life member of the Spanish Engineering Royal Academy and an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow. He has been advisor to institutions and governments in about 40 countries. He currently works on planning and design of business models and regulatory frameworks for electrification in developing countries.

David M. Reiner is Associate Professor in Technology Policy at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and Assistant Director of the Energy Policy Research Group (EPRG) at Cambridge, UK. His research focuses on energy and climate change politics, policy, economics, regulation and public attitudes, with a focus on social license to operate for energy technologies. He is currently leading projects on reducing emissions from energy-intensive industries, decarbonising the heat and electricity sectors and on greenhouse gas removal technologies. He serves in various advisory roles including on three Advisory Group for the UK Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge and on the CCUS Council (BEIS) chaired by the UK Energy Minister.

Fereidoon Sioshansi is President of Menlo Energy Economics, a consulting firm based in San Francisco, California, advising clients on the transformation of the energy sector. He is the editor and publisher of EEnergy Informer, a monthly newsletter. His professional experience includes working at Southern California Edison Co. (SCE), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), NERA, and Global Energy Decisions. He has edited 13 books, including Variable generation, flexible demand in 2020.

Xu Yi-chong is Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia and Professor of Government and International Relations, School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University. She is author of several books like Powering China; Electricity Reform in China, India and Russia; The Politics of Nuclear Energy in China; and Sinews of Power: The Politics of the State Grid Corporation of China.


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