Investment has always been a challenge in the network industries. Since the 1990s liberalisation has exacerbated this challenge, owing to the different time horizons between the interests of the private sector, the long-term nature of the infrastructure assets and their public service nature. Climate change and the need to decarbonise the infrastructures, as well as the recent focus on digitalisation have only added to the investment challenges in the different network industries.
The EU’s basic objective is to create a single European market as a tool for political integration. This objective is being transposed into all economically strategic sectors, including at a data level in each of these sectors.
This special issue of Network Industries Quarterly is dedicated to the greening of infrastructure assets. Despite the unprecedented challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission has reaffirmed its commitment to the objectives of the European Green Deal and to transforming Europe into the first climate neutral continent by 2050.
In this special issue we focus on the digitalisation of infrastructure. Digitalisation is, of course, transforming all kinds of industries. Content industries (music, newspapers, the audiovisual sector and so on) were the first to be digitalised and then disrupted by digital platforms. Network industries are also now being digitalised, in distinctive ways.