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Full reference: Frison-Roche, M.-A., The control by regulator of the essential infrastructure manager's investment plan: example of electric network and the notion of "doctrine", Newsletter MAFR - Law, Compliance, Regulation, 24th of August 2020
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Summary of the news
On 31st of July 2020, the Commission de Régulation de l'Energie (CRE and French energy regulator) has examined the investment plan of the French electric network manager (RTE) as it does every year. This investment plan is an economic document but it also contains societal purposes, especially the adaptation of the electric network in order to integrate renewable energies.
The control by the CRE is not a financial control. The crucial operator (RTE) is free to decide the way it wants to manage its budget. The CRE just advices on the financial side by recommending for exemple to be more flexible in its financial strategies. The true CRE's control is about the investment plan's general orientations, the methodology of needs analysis and crucial operator's investment choices which must be aligned with those of the regulator.
Such a control leads to the emergence of an "investment doctrine" from the side of the crucial operator, mixing its own choices and the regulator's guidelines. Beyond this, the elaboration of the investment plan is the result of a true co-writing between the regulator and the firm which discuss together, exchanges points of view and methods. Such a method, expressing a kind of coregulation, could be used in other sectors.