Date of this Version
Energies 2019, 12, 491
The increasing adoption of distributed energy resources (DERs) and smart grid technologies (SGTs) by end-user retail customers is changing significantly both technical and economic operations in the distribution grid. The next-generation retail electricity market will promote decentralization, efficiency, and competitiveness by accommodating existing and new agents through new business models and transactive approaches in an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). However, these changes will bring several technical challenges to be addressed in transmission and distribution systems. Considerable activities have been carried out worldwide to study the impacts of integrating DERs into the grid and in the wholesale electricity market. However, the big vision and framework of the next-generation retail market in the context of DERs is still unclear. This paper aims to present a brief review of the present retail electricity market, some recent developments, and a comprehensive vision of the next-generation retail electricity market by describing its expected characteristics, challenges, needs, and future research topics to be addressed. A framework of integrating retail and wholesale electricity markets is also presented and discussed. The proposed vision and framework particularly highlight the necessity of new business models and regulatory initiatives to establish decentralized markets for DERs at the retail level as well as advances in technology and infrastructure necessary to allow the widespread use of DERs in active and effective ways.