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Dr A.E.H. Huygen has been appointed professor by special appointment of Regulating Energy Markets at the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Faculty of Law. The chair was established on behalf of the Lorentz van Iterson Foundation TNO (LIFT).

Annelies Huygen
Photo: Jeroen Oerlemans

At the Centre for Energy Issues, Annelies Huygen will be continuing her research into the regulation of energy markets. Her work is at the interface of economics and law: how can these markets be organised from an economic and social perspective? Is there legal support for these organisational structures? 

The gas and electricity markets have been in a constant state of flux over the past 15 years. While the process of liberalisation and privatisation may not be fully concluded, new sustainability requirements - partly as a result of the Dutch Energy Agreement - pose new challenges for market regulation. Solar and wind energy need to be integrated at an acceptable cost without disrupting the markets. This requires new organisational structures, with the associated regulations. Huygen is particularly interested in a relatively new phenomenon associated with this development: the emergence of local energy supplies, where citizens and companies generate their own electricity. These newcomers need to have the same opportunities as established parties.

Huygen has worked as a senior researcher at TNO since 2007. She is an economist and lawyer and obtained her doctorate in 1999 with a thesis on Regulation and competition: the Dutch electricity sector. The author of numerous publications, Huygen has written extensively not just on the regulation and governance of electricity markets, but that of other markets as well. Her present work includes acting as joint project leader for the international EU-financed interdisciplinary SI-drive (Social Innovation Drive) project. This research project focuses on social innovation driven by increasing civic participation, such as in the energy and healthcare sectors. Huygen is closely involved in supervising two PhD candidates appointed to the Centre for Energy Issues from TNO.