Laurens James de Vries (1967) studied Mechanical Engineering at Delft University of Technology from 1985 till 1991. His main interest was in environmental technology. His M.Sc. thesis provided a thermodynamical comparison of primary and secondary aluminum production processes. After graduating he moved to Olympia, Washington State, USA. He enrolled part-time in the Master of Environmental Studies program, from which he graduated in 1996. Concurrently he held traineeships at local governments and in the last few years there he worked as an assistant planner in the Public Transportation and Rail Division of the Washington State Department of Transportation. Between the summers of 1997 and 1998 he traveled through Asia, after which he returned to the Netherlands. Before returning to Delft he worked for one year at NovioConsult in Nijmegen, an environmental consulting firm which specializes in advising local governments
Since September 1999, Laurens has been a researcher in the Energy & Industry Section at the Technology, Policy and Management Faculty of Delft University of Technology. He recently completed his dissertation, which he will defend on June 29, 2004. The subject of his research is the wholesale electricity market. The dissertation analyzes two aspects of investment in electricity generation capacity in liberalized electricity markets. The focus is on European electricity markets, in which the transmission system operator typically is not integrated with the market operator. The first issue that is analyzed is the question whether markets tend to produce an optimal volume of investment in generation capacity. There appears to be a significant risk of underinvestment. A policy framework is developed with which the policy options for stabilizing the volume of generation capacity in competitive markets are evaluated. Secondly, the question is addressed how to coordinate investment in generation capacity with the transmission networks, especially in the European context of generally flat network tariffs.
After his graduation, Laurens will continue to work with the Energy and Industry Section as an assistant professor. Within the context of the Next Generation Infrastructures program he will research policy and market design issues in the electricity and gas markets.