Can cooperation between the Nordic Transmission System Operators be improved to deliver better research and development
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The transmission system operation (TSO) function is the backbone in the electricity market structure. It is a monopolistic function, and an enabler for realizing European electricity market integration and climate policies. The EU and governmental institutions have acknowledged that R&D and innovation is a prerequisite for an affordable and reliable transformation and integration of the electricity system. Research programs and support schemes are therefore introduced. The study investigates the barriers to effective R&D innovation and cooperation between the Nordic countries within the wider context of EU policy and support schemes. The lack of coherence between policies and support schemes at the EU, Nordic and national levels, combined with regulatory fragmentation, are identified as barriers for efficient R&D and innovation. The Nordic TSOs different approach to R&D is analyzed. Inherent challenges in valuing R&D, and the TSOs presumed limited use of management tools for R&D are identified as additional managerial barriers. Introduction of a Nordic TSO governance structure, a Nordic TSO R&D secretariat, and introduction of management tools are suggested to improve Nordic TSO R&D results.