New Thinking

These pages set out our wider thinking on issues relating to innovation, governance and practice for a sustainable, secure and affordable energy system. This includes contributions from the IGov team, the wider EPG group, as well as invited authors. These articles are not reviewed.

  • Landmark US Supreme Court Decision in Favour of Demand Response

    January 26, 2016

    Landmark US Supreme Court Decision in Favour of Demand Response

    Landmark US Supreme Court Decision in Favour of Demand Response Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 26th January 2016    The US Supreme Court has just found that demand response (DR) is sold into wholesale markets, and therefore falls within the authority of the US Federal Electricity Regulatory Commission (FERC), which has authority over regional wholesale markets. In effect, this means that the multitude of demand response products and markets which have developed over the last 15 years or so, in various US States, are legal. The Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) claimed that FERC did not

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  • New Thinking: Spreading the opportunities of sustainable energy in Germany

    January 22, 2016

    New Thinking: Spreading the opportunities of sustainable energy in Germany

    Spreading the opportunities of sustainable energy in Germany Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 22nd January 2016  A recent presentation by the BDI (the Voice of German Industry) put forward a simple, but powerful, message in support of the German Energiewende. It argues that German industry has managed to improve its energy intensity (total primary energy supply divided by units of GDP, slide 2); described the energiewende targets from 2010-2050 (slide 3); set out what it thinks the global market potential is for products necessary to meet the energiewende’s targets, and what percentage of that global market

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  • New Thinking: Energy Distribution Service Providers

    January 8, 2016

    New Thinking: Energy Distribution Service Providers

    Energy Distribution Service Providers – another piece of the governance puzzle Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 8th January 2016 IGov is exploring the link between innovation and energy governance, where governance is taken to be policies, institutions, rules and incentives. We are interested not only in these policies, institutions and rules and incentives – but how they develop – the politics behind their creation and implementation. IGov is putting together a framework for energy governance suitable for the 21st Century. This includes arguments for the restructuring, or creation, of institutions and the altering of rules and

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  • New Thinking: the man at the bar

    December 18, 2015

    New Thinking: the man at the bar

    The man at the bar Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 18th December 2015 DECC has just announced that it is cutting financial support to solar. This follows on from Amber Rudd’s ‘reset’ speech; the Chancellor’s Spending Review ; the 2nd capacity auction which continues to primarily support existing fossil fuels; and this week’s vote by MPs to allow fracking under national parks. Together this has left British energy policy based on nuclear power and gas – neither of which will come through under current, extremely expensive policies. Two brilliant blogs: one by Damian Carrington and the

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  • New Thinking: Energy System Change not Climate Change

    December 14, 2015

    New Thinking: Energy System Change not Climate Change

    Energy System Change not Climate Change Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 14th December 2015 COP21 has led to a new climate change policy agreement. While it could have been stronger, it could also have been weaker. The world had already tipped to a global discourse towards a sustainable energy future, based on renewables. What the Paris Agreement has done has strengthened that global discourse. The dominant underlying energy technology pathways of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) is towards more renewables. There will of course be outlier countries, like GB, who choose nuclear over renewables but

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  • New Thinking: Contemporary US Political Party Energy Politics

    November 10, 2015

    New Thinking: Contemporary US Political Party Energy Politics

    Contemporary US Political Party Energy Politics – still a lot to play for  Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 10th November 2015 Just once in a while one goes to a meeting where one learns an awful lot in a short time. A three-person slot at a University of Columbia’s Energy Symposium about US energy politics last week was one of those wonderful knowledge transfer events – not really because of the deep knowledge base of the speakers – which is often the case – but, much more rarely, because the speakers (Heather Zichal and Jeffrey Kupfer)

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  • New Thinking: Progressive Regulation – What Future For Ofgem?

    October 26, 2015

    New Thinking: Progressive Regulation – What Future For Ofgem?

    Progressive Regulation – What Future For OFGEM?  Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 26th October 2015 Dermot Nolan, the CEO of Ofgem,  when talking to the recent  2015 Annual Energy UK conference, set out a progressive energy vision for the future. It was a broad-ranging overview exploring the issues which the Regulator finds himself having to deal with. Importantly though, he also illuminated just how much we are all in this together.  Long term solutions for a legitimate, sustainable energy system have to be bought into by all stakeholders. His final comment was: ‘I invite all of

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  • New Thinking: Fit-for-purpose GB Energy Governance

    October 13, 2015

    New Thinking: Fit-for-purpose GB Energy Governance

    Fit-for-purpose GB Energy Governance – what is it? and what to call it – DEG or OBR?  Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 13th October 2015 IGov published a Working Paper in March 2015 called Public Value Energy Governance: establishing an institutional framework which better fits a sustainable, secure and affordable energy system which included a ‘straw’ model for a restructured institutional framework for a GB Governance system. We suggest this framework is fit for purpose, as opposed to the current governance system which is not. Governance is here taken to mean the policies, institutions, rules and

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  • New Thinking: China Gives Priority to Green Dispatch

    September 29, 2015

    New Thinking: China Gives Priority to Green Dispatch

    China Gives Priority to Green Dispatch  Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 29th September 2015 Much has been talked about China possibly financing a portion of a GB nuclear power plant in the last few weeks. However, whilst China may be building some nuclear power plants – the support for them is small compared to the support given to renewables. Moreover, as was discussed in a recent blog, for technical reasons a dispatch choice has to be made. This choice can be set up to be made in all sorts of ways. These can be complementary to decentralised

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  • New Thinking: Saving Face

    September 22, 2015

    New Thinking: Saving Face

    Saving Face Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 22nd September 2015 IGov is investigating the link between innovation and governance. Ideally we would like to produce our own theory of why it is some countries seem to be more able to move to a demand focused energy policy – in other words an energy policy which minimises the energy it uses. The idea behind IGov was to understand why it is that Britain – as opposed to many other countries – takes such unique decisions which tend to ignore best practice elsewhere and which tend to be relatively

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