The convergence of electricity and digitalization in the Netherlands

Data governance as an emerging policy issue




global warming, digitalization, energy policy, data governance


This paper explores the convergence of electricity and digitalization in the Netherlands. Based on the Advocacy Coalition Framework, we first show how the Paris Agreement on global warming in 2015 has led to a new renewable energy policy paradigm, in which digitalization plays a key enabling role. We will then show that the far-reaching convergence of electricity and digitalization pursued by European and Dutch policy makers will raise new policy issues. The core challenge is adequate energy data governance. Digitalization also raises policy issues in the areas of safety, consumer protection, democratic control, and equal distribution of costs and benefits in a digitized energy system. As the transition to a sustainable energy system must take place rapidly and energy data are expected to play a crucial role in achieving this, these issues are urgent.


ACM – Autoriteit Consument en Markt (2019): Visiedocument datagovernance energie. Den Haag: Autoriteit Consument en Markt.

CBS – Centraal Bureau Statistiek (2019): Energieverbruik gedaald in 2018. Available online at, last accessed on 12. 04. 2020.

Ducuing, Charlotte (2019): Data as infrastructure? A study of data sharing legal regimes. In: Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, online first, p. 19.

EC – European Commission (2019): Clean Energy for All Europeans. Brussels: European Commission.

Edens, Marga (2017): Public value tensions for Dutch DSOs in times of energy transition. A legal approach. In: Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, 18 (1–2), pp. 132–149.

European Parliament; Council of the European Union (2019): Directive (EU) 2019/944 on common rules for the internal market for electricity and amending Directive 2012/27/EU. In: Official Journal of the European Union L 158, pp. 125–199.

EZ – Economische Zaken (2008): Energierapport 2008. Den Haag: Ministerie van Economische Zaken.

EZK – Economische Zaken en Klimaat (2016): Energieagenda. Naar een CO2-arme energievoorziening. Den Haag: Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat.

EZK (2018): Nederlandse Digitaliseringsstrategie. Nederland digitaal. Hier kan het. Hier gebeurt het. Den Haag: Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat.

EZK (2019): Gevolgen van het gebrek aan netcapaciteit voor duurzame elektriciteitsprojecten. Den Haag: Ministerie van Economische Zaken.

EZLI – Economische Zaken, Landbouw en Innovatie (2011): Energierapport 2011. Den Haag: Ministerie van Economische Zaken, Landbouw & Innovatie.

Hall, Peter (1993): Policy paradigm, social learning, and the state. The case of economic policy making in Britain. In: Comparative Politics 25 (3), pp. 275–296.

Hernandez, Grant; Arias, Orlando; Buentello, Daniel; Jin, Yier (2014): Smart nest thermostat. A smart spy in your home. Available online at, last accessed on 07. 05. 2020.

Hollander, Guus de; Vonk, Marijke; Snellen, Daniëlle; Hiddo Huitzing (2017): Mobiliteit en elektriciteit in het digitale tijdperk. Publieke waarden onder spanning. Den Haag: Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving.

Jong, Roos de; Kool, Linda; Est, Rinie van (2019): This is how we put AI into practice based on European Values. Den Haag: Rathenau Instituut.

Kern, Florian; Howlett, Michael (2009): Implementing transition management as policy reforms. A case study of the Dutch energy sector. In: Policy Sciences 42 (4), pp. 391–408.

Kloppenburg, Sanneke; Boekelo, Marten (2019): Digital platforms and the future of energy provisioning. Promises and perils for the next phase of the energy transition. In: Energy Research & Social Science 49, pp. 68–73.

Koirala, Binod; Oost, Ellen van; Windt, Henny van de (2018): Community energy storage. A responsible innovation towards a sustainable energy system? In: Applied energy 231, pp. 570–585.

Kool, Linda; Timmer, Jelte; Royakkers, Lambèr; Est, Rinie van (2017): Urgent upgrade. Protect public values in our digitized society. Den Haag: Rathenau Instituut.

Küfeoglu, Sinan; Gaomin, Liu; Anaya, Karim; Pollitt, Michael (2019). Digitalisation and new business models in energy sector. Energy Policy Research Group, University of Cambridge, working paper 1920. Available online at, last accessed on 07. 05. 2020.

Lanier, Jaron (2018): Tien argumenten om je sociale media-accounts nu meteen te verwijderen. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Business Contact.

Lavrijssen, Saskia (2017): Power to the energy consumers. In: European Energy and Environmental Law Review 26 (6), pp. 172–187.

Markard, Jochen; Suter, Marco; Ingold, Karin (2016): Socio-technical transitions and policy change. Advocacy coalitions in Swiss energy policy. In: Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions 18, pp. 215–237.

Milchram, Christine; Hillerbrand, Rafaela; Kaa, Geerten van de; Doorn, Neelke; Künneke, Rolf (2018): Energy justice and smart grid systems. Evidence from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In: Applied Energy 229, pp. 1244–1259.

Munnichs, Geert, Kouw, Matthijs; Kool, Linda (2017): Een nooit gelopen race. Over cyberdreigingen en versterking van weerbaarheid. Den Haag: Rathenau Instituut.

Pérez-Arriaga, Ignacio; Knittel, Christopher (2016): Utility of the future. An MIT Energy Initiative response to an industry in transition. Cambridge, MA: MIT.

Powells, Gareth; Fell, Michael (2019): Flexibility capital and flexibility justice in smart energy systems. In: Energy Research & Social Science 54, pp. 56–59.

Raad van State (2018): Ongevraagd advies over de effecten van digitalisering voor de rechtsstatelijke verhoudingen. Den Haag: Raad van State.

Royakkers, Lambèr; Timmer, Jelte; Kool, Linda; van Est, Rinie (2018): Societal and ethical issues of digitization. In: Ethics and Information Technology 20 (2), pp. 127–142.

RVO – Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (2015): Innovatieprogramma Intelligente Netten. Position paper kennis- en leertraject – Thema wet- en regelgeving. Utrecht: Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland.

RLI – Raad van Leefomgeving en Infrastructuur (2018): Stroomvoorziening onder digitale spanning. Den Haag: Raad voor de leefomgeving en infrastructuur.

Sabatier, Paul; Jenkins-Smith, Hank (1993): Policy change and learning. An advocacy coalition approach. Boulder: Westview.

Sabatier, Paul; Weible, Christopher (2007): The advocacy coalition framework. An assessment. In: Paul Sabatier (ed.): Theories of the policy process. Boulder: Westview, pp. 189–220.

Salas Girones, Edgar; Est, Rinie van; Verbong, Geert (2019): Transforming mobility. The Dutch smart mobility policy as an example of a transformative STI policy. In: Science and Public Policy 46 (6), pp. 820–833.

Tagliapietra, Simone; Zachmann, Georg; Edenhofer, Ottmar; Glachant, Jean-Michel; Linares, Pedro; Loeschel, Andreas (2019): The European Union energy transition. Key priorities for the next five years. In: Energy Policy 132, pp. 950–954.

TK – Tweede Kamer (1995): Derde energy memorandum. Den Haag: Ministerie van Economische Zaken.

Zuboff, Shoshana (2019): The age of surveillance capitalism. The fight for a human future at the new frontier of power. London: Profile Books.




How to Cite

Dekker R, van Est R. The convergence of electricity and digitalization in the Netherlands: Data governance as an emerging policy issue. TATuP [Internet]. 2020 Jul. 17 [cited 2024 Jul. 20];29(2):31-7. Available from: