The use of new energy resources: the role of law and the impact on networks

How does the introduction of new energy sources require change in the legal framework?

Martha Roggenkamp (Photo: EDGaR/Jan Buwalda)


The introduction of new energy sources like wind energy, solar energy and biogas have an impact on the energy market. In this project, we will focus, from a legal perspective, on the impact of new energy sources on the energy value chain and, most particularly, on the network part of the energy value chain. Traditionally, energy (electricity and gas) is produced by major energy companies or utilities. However, renewable energy sources can be produced by a variety of larger and smaller producers. Whereas traditionally, energy is fed into the grid at the upstream level, the renewable energy sources are often fed directly into the distribution grid. Consequently, the legal framework applying to the grids supplying these resources may need to be changed. The first work package of this research will concentrate on the networks and analyze aspects relating to classification and construction of networks. The second work package will assess in greater detail aspects relating to the use of the networks, and will analyze more particularly the issue of non-discriminatory access to energy networks and the exemption to this rule for renewable energy sources. However, the legal issues relating to renewable energy sources and energy infrastructure cannot be seen in isolation. Practical market and technical issues and business knowledge is essential to appreciate the legal issues.

Theme: Changing gas markets 
Leader: Martha Roggenkamp (University of Groningen)
Partners: University of Groningen, Gasunie (research performed by DNV GL)
Budget: 0.5 million euro
Duration: January 2011 / April 2015


Anna Butenko (DNV GL)
Maroeska Boots (DNV GL)
Pablo Ferrara (University of Groningen)
Martha Roggenkamp (University of Groningen)

Former participants
Bert Kiewiet (DNV GL)
Hannah Kruimer (University of Groningen)
Olivia Woolley (University of Groningen)


Kruimer, Hannah. The Non-Discrimination Obligation of Energy Network Operators. Brussels: Intersentia, 2013.

Book chapter

Woolley, Olivia. “Overcoming legal challenges for offshore electricity grid development: a case study of the Cobra and Kriegers Flak projects.” In European Energy Law Report IX edited by Martha Roggenkam and Olivia Woolley, pp. 169-198. Antwerp: Intersentia, 2012.

Woolley, Olivia, P.J. Schaimberg, Graham St Michel. “Establishing and offshore electricity grid: A legal analysis of grid developments in the North Sea and in US waters.” In Energy Networks and the Law: Innovative Solutions in Changing Markets edited by Martha Roggenkamp, Lila Barrera-Hernández, Donald N. Zillman, and Iñigo del Guayo, pp. 180-204. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

PhD thesis

Kruimer, Hannah. “The non-discrimination obligation of energy network operators.” Ph.D diss., University of Groningen, 2013.

Journal article

Kruimer, Hannah. “Non-discriminatory system operation: what does it mean?” Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, 12, 3 (2011): 260–286.

Kruimer, Hannah. “Exemptions to the principle of equal access: an overview of CJEU cases.” Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence Journal, 5 (2011): online

Kruimer, Hannah. “The non-discrimination obligation for gas system operators: differences and similarities.” International Journal of Private Law, 4, 3 (2011): 420–443.

Nierop, Sam C.A. “Network competition in electricity and gas distribution: competition in extensions.” European Networks Law and Regulation Quarterly 1 (2015): 2–10.

Woolley, Olivia. “Reforming gas sector governance to promote biomethane injection.” Renewable Energy Law and Policy 2013, 3 (2013): 175–88.

Woolley, Olivia A. “Governing a North Sea Grid Development: The Need for a Regional Framework Treaty.” Competition and Regulation in Network Industries 14 (2013): 73–97. 


Ferrara, Pablo. “Maritime spatial planning and renewable energy sources in the North Sea.” First European Environmental Law Forum, Groningen, September 2013.

Ferrara, Pablo. “Developing an off-shore electricity grid: infrastructure investment challenges.” 26th European Energy Law Seminar, Noordwijk aan Zee, May 2013. 

Ferrara, Pablo. “Energy networks and law networks.” Fifth Research Day of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Nunspeet, April 2013.

Kruimer, Hannah. “Energy network discrimination problems and EU energy netcodes.” Energierecht op Locatie, Arnhem, November 2012.

Kruimer, Hannah. Workshops on energy regulation for energy stakeholders. Netherlands Competition Authority, The Hague, October and November 2012. Gasunie, Groningen, November 2012. Bundesnetzagentur, Bonn, January 2013. National Grid, Warwick, January 2013.

Kruimer, Hannah. “Non-discriminatory system operations.” Dutch Energy Law Association, The Hague, May 2012.

Kruimer, Hannah. “Priority access for renewables and biogas and congestion management systems.” Dutch/German Winter School on Sustainable Energy Cooperation, Allersmaborg, April 2012.

Kruimer, Hannah. “The non-discrimination obligation for energy system operators: lessons learned from EU Telecommunication Law and EU Public Procurement Law.” Competition and Regulation in Network Industries Conference, Brussels, November 2011.

Kruimer, Hannah. “Competition in energy markets and access to networks.” Five Years of Energy Law in Groningen, Groningen, September 2011.

Kruimer, Hannah. “De verplichting voor systeembeheerders van elektriciteit en gas om non-discriminatoir te handelen.” Energie recht en regelgeving, Breukelen, September 2011.

Roggenkamp, Martha. “Regulating changing energy markets and the role of law.” Enabling Sustainability with Gas: Closing Conference of the Energy Delta Gas Research, Amsterdam, March 2015.

Woolley, Olivia. “Reforming gas sector governance in the UK to promote decarbonisation: a study of biomethane injection into gas grids.” University of Stirling Energy Law conference, Stirling, April 2013. 

Woolley, Olivia. “The North Sea Electricity Grid.” Energy Delta Convention, Groningen, November 2012.

Woolley, Olivia. “Governing a North Sea grid development: the need for a regional framework treaty.” Competition and Regulation in Network Industries Conference, Brussels, November 2012. 

Woolley, Olivia. “Using cooperation mechanisms under the renewable energy directive.” Dutch/German Winter School on Sustainable Energy Cooperation, Allersmaborg, April 2012.

Woolley, Olivia. “EU law and policy promoting renewable energy.” Dutch/German Winter School on Sustainable Energy Cooperation, Bremen, February 2012.

Woolley, Olivia. “Developing a new regulatory regime for offshore grid infrastructure.” European Wind Energy Association's Offshore 2011 Conference, November 2011.

Woolley, Olivia. “Legal issues associated with a North Sea offshore grid.” Groningen Centre of Energy Law Conference, Groningen, September 2011.

Other publication

Woolley, Olivia, Martha Roggenkamp. ‘Get connected’, Parliament Magazine (21 November 2011): 42.

In the news

"Non-discrimination obligation." Energy Delta Gas Research,17 June 2014. (Featuring Kruimer's book.) 

"Injecting biogas." Energy Delta Gas Research, 20 November 2012. (Featuring Butenko's and Tempelman's researches.) 

"European stinky business: differences in gas odorization." Energy Delta Institute, 21 July 2014. (Featuring Butenko's research on odorization.)