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.

  • US Blog: The US Clean Power Plan 2015

    August 24, 2015

    US Blog: The US Clean Power Plan 2015

    US Blog: The US Clean Power Plan 2015 – an explanation Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 24th August 2015 Overview The US Clean Power Plan (CPP) was announced at the beginning of August 2015, and follows on from the Presidents Climate Action Plan of 2013. The first stage of the CPP was announced in 2014 and the final CPP is very different from that proposed a year ago. The CPP has come into being via the EPA, and their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions via air quality legislation (The Clean Air Act, 111d). The EPA has

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  • New Thinking: NY Reforming the Energy Vision – an update

    August 19, 2015

    New Thinking: NY Reforming the Energy Vision – an update

    NY Reforming the Energy Vision – an update  Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 19th August 2015 The USA is a very interesting place for energy at the moment. Last year, IGov produced a series of blogs on the USA called Lessons from America. One of those was about the New York Reforming the Energy Vision – arguably the most progressive thing happening in energy policy in the US at the moment. This blog is an update on that first blog about NY – and a detailed working paper about its substance will be published in November

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  • No Resource is 100% Reliable: Embracing change and capturing opportunities of the ‘new’ energy system requires a new mind set

    August 5, 2015

    No Resource is 100% Reliable: Embracing change and capturing opportunities of the ‘new’ energy system requires a new mind set

    Embracing change and capturing opportunities of the ‘new’ energy system requires a new mind set  This is the Wrap-Up to No Resource is 100% Reliable Series Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 5th August 2015   The intention of this series is: to provide the building blocks of an alternative no-regrets energy policy to the recent retrograde environmental actions of GB Government to highlight that no resource, whether coal, gas, nuclear, interconnectors and so on, is 100% reliable and so balancing an energy system with 5%, 30% or 100% renewables is the same process as managing any other

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  • No resource is 100% reliable: A realistic ‘what if’ model

    August 3, 2015

    No resource is 100% reliable: A realistic ‘what if’ model

    A realistic ‘what if’ model  This is the fifth blog in the no resource is 100% reliable series Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 3rd August 2015 No resource is 100% reliable: a realistic ‘what if’ model This blog series has argued that GB does not currently have a credible energy policy, and that because of this a sensible response is to investigate a no-regrets energy policy based on the global realities of increasing RE investment, changing energy system costs and operation, and the difficulties of nuclear and CCS. Part of that no-regret policy is to better understand the

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  • No resource is 100% reliable: a 100% renewable energy system operation on no wind, no sun days

    July 31, 2015

    No resource is 100% reliable: a 100% renewable energy system operation on no wind, no sun days

    A 100% renewable energy system operation on no wind, no sun days  This is the fourth blog in the no resource is 100% reliable series Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 31st July 2015 GB is not doing well in terms of RE deployment compared to many other European countries. In 2013, the overall percentage of electricity derived from renewable sources (international basis) was 14.9% and renewable energy as a percentage of primary energy demand was 5.2% (EC target is 15% in 2020). Electricity generation from renewable resources reached 53.7 TWh in 2013. According to (an old)

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  • No resource is 100% reliable: US polar vortex and energy

    July 30, 2015

    No resource is 100% reliable: US polar vortex and energy

    US polar vortex and energy This is the third blog in the no resource is 100% reliable series Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 30th July 2015 The USA suffered some of its coldest weather ever over a few months as a result of the polar vortex in early 2014. PJM, the nation’s largest grid operator with nearly 190,000 megawatts (MW) of power generation across 13 states in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, set 8 of its top 10 winter peak records in its history, and called the weather extreme a 1-in-10 event. MISO, the nation’s second largest grid

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  • No resource is 100% reliable: The Belgian nuclear winter

    July 29, 2015

    No resource is 100% reliable: The Belgian nuclear winter

    The Belgian nuclear winter This is the second blog in the no resource is 100% reliable series Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 29th July 2015 Belgium had a worrying 2014-2015 winter – known as the Belgian Nuclear Winter when 3 nuclear power plants were shut down. What lessons should we learn from that event? The key lesson to learn is that no energy system is 100% reliable. All resources (nuclear, coal, gas, renewables, hydro, demand response, storage, interconnectors) have a certain likelihood of not being entirely available or available at all on any given day. So

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  • No resource is 100% reliable: A No-Regret Energy Policy- reduce, flatten and flex

    July 28, 2015

    No resource is 100% reliable: A No-Regret Energy Policy- reduce, flatten and flex

    A No-Regret Energy Policy: Reduce, flatten and flex This is the first blog in the no resource is 100% reliable series Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 28th July 2015 The last few weeks has been pretty dire for those in Britain that care about moving towards a sustainable, secure and affordable energy system.  GB no longer has a credible energy policy. Government support for nuclear power may lead, at best, to one or two new power plants in GB – but by when we do not know and for how much money. They are almost immaterial to

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  • New Thinking: What are we to do with this Government’s incredible energy policy?

    July 27, 2015

    New Thinking: What are we to do with this Government’s incredible energy policy?

    What are we to do with this Government’s incredible energy policy? Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 27th July 2015 Energy policy has been slowly changing over the last 30 or so years: two steps forward, one step back towards sustainability. But it has changed over that time and it has become more sustainable and better for GB’s innovation record. In 1984, with the miner’s strike, we had a state owned energy industry (both gas and electricity), with almost no customer input and minimal ability for independent action, no renewable energy policy, minimal energy efficiency action or

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  • New Thinking: Germany’s Coal Decision

    July 24, 2015

    New Thinking: Germany’s Coal Decision

    Germany’s Coal Decision: boon for incumbents or start of longer term phase out? Caroline Kuzemko, IGov Team, 24th July, 2014 About Caroline: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Caroline_Kuzemko   Germany, like many countries attempting to transform their energy sectors, has a problem with coal – hard coal and lignite together still made up just over 40% of its electricity generation mix in 2014. Globally, and in Germany, although renewables have grown impressively over the past few years, the impact on emissions has been tempered by the increased use of coal. As such, for the sake of emissions, something needs to be

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