DRAFT: IGov Fit-for-Purpose Institutional Framework for the GB Energy System
Energy systems around the world and in GB are undergoing fundamental and rapid change due to a wide range of different drivers, from technology through to social, environmental and businesses innovations. Much of this change is currently being experienced within the electricity sector, with new technologies and business models competing for space within our markets and networks (for example, options for demand side response (DSR), virtual power plants, storage and other ways to provide capacity and manage constraints). Nationally, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Energy and Climate Change Committee (ECCC) have raised the possibility of creating an independent system operator and many distribution network operators (DNOs) are already moving towards becoming more active distribution system operators (DSOs). The recent reports from the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) and the ECCC have highlighted the challenges and opportunities for creating a low carbon network infrastructure, and suggested that the challenges can only be met with an appropriate governance, regulatory and operational framework. Transforming to this framework is vital because of the risk that as technology races ahead, infrastructure and regulations lag behind thereby undermining (or even blocking) its use. If this continues, the lack of governance change will potentially increase costs, undermine security and threaten the low carbon transformation itself.
This briefing note sets out a new approach to governance based on a proposed new institutional framework that IGov argues is more fit-for-purpose for the challenges and opportunities that the GB energy system faces, including the ongoing blurring of boundaries between heat, power and transport, and the new roles of consumers. The framework has been developed over the 4 years of the IGov research and this Briefing Note only provides a headline summary of the institutions and their role, and a brief rational for thinking. However, we have written a number of blogs, working papers and journal articles about the governance needs of the GB energy system in general, and its constituent parts. All of this information can be accessed via the IGov website; and we have included a few links to specific resources in the sections below.
Download the draft briefing here: Draft Briefing on IGov Fit-for-Purpose Institutional Framework for the GB Energy System
 Governance is taken to mean policies, institutions, rules and incentives (ie the rules of the game).