Government transparency is a central aspect of a constitutional democracy. Citizens’ access to information about the activities of the state is vital for democratic self-determination. The expansion of electronic communication has bolstered a trend in society toward greater transparency, while authoritarian mindsets and behaviour are in retreat.
The regulation of power networks is an exception. It is largely intransparent. As consumers, citizens are must thus pay grid fees that are difficult to comprehend. In addition, a lack of data hampers scientific studies that are vital to a comprehensive and public discussion, which is part of the process of energy policy-making.
Not only state regulators, but also the network operators they regulate, face transparency demands. In light of the Energiewende, network users (producers, distributors, consumers and other service providers) increasingly need reliable and readily available data for a secure and flexible use of the network.
Expanding the network, its related costs, and new demands on infrastructure make transparency, especially in this area, a central condition for the success of the Energiewende. We are therefore considering ways for the energy business to become more transparent.