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.

  • New Thinking: Sugar Plum Fairies

    December 19, 2014

    New Thinking: Sugar Plum Fairies

    Sugar Plum Fairies Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 19th December, 2014 The provisional results of the capacity market auction have been announced. Overall, around 50 GW of capacity received a capacity payment, about 76% of the MWs entered – which must raise questions whether there was a need for it in the first place. Of that 50 GW about 34 GW (i.e. 68.4%) is existing plant and only around 5% of that 50 GW is new build. Of the 50 GW, 19% is existing coal, whilst Proven and Unproven DSR is only around 175 MW (i.e

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  • Britain’s dinosaur capacity market will worsen energy ‘trilemma’

    December 19, 2014

    Britain’s dinosaur capacity market will worsen energy ‘trilemma’

    Britain’s dinosaur capacity market will worsen energy ‘trilemma’ Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 19th December, 2014 About Catherine: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Catherine_Mitchell Tomorrow, the government will begin spending up to £4bn per year on power stations some of which we do not need. In doing so, it risks compromising all three of the objectives that energy policy is supposed to deliver: security of supply, affordability and low-carbon energy. The capacity market auction will pay companies to keep existing nuclear, coal and gas-fired power stations running and to build new gas-fired units. Just over 50GW of capacity will be funded, at a maximum

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  • New Thinking Blog: Can the UK become an ‘Entrepreneurial State’?

    December 4, 2014

    New Thinking Blog: Can the UK become an ‘Entrepreneurial State’?

    Can the UK become an ‘Entrepreneurial State’? The key question is what, politically, might motivate a country, like the UK, to want to move in that direction A couple of weeks or so ago, along with a good number of others, I listened with great interest to Mariana Mazzucato’s prize lecture in recognition of the award to her of the first ever New Statesman SPERI Prize for Political Economy. Mariana is surely worthy of this prize.  Her analysis is critical and visionary, but also theoretically and empirically rigorous.  She is unquestionably passionate about her work and is

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  • New Thinking: Bringing International and Local Together – Decentralising Energy Regulation

    November 20, 2014

    New Thinking: Bringing International and Local Together – Decentralising Energy Regulation

    Bringing International and Local Together – Decentralising Energy Regulation (Starting the Discussion) Catherine Mitchell, Bridget Woodman and Caroline Kuzemko DECC has recently consulted on a Strategy and Policy Statement (SPS), which is intended to fulfil some of the recommendations made in the DECC Review of Ofgem in 2011, including replacing the past Social and Environmental Guidances from DECC to Ofgem. Unfortunately, the SPS has scarcely moved on from the Social and Environmental Guidance it is meant to replace. The EPG submission to the consultation discusses this in detail. A fundamental problem of the Draft

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  • Face 2 Face with Climate Change

    November 13, 2014

    Face 2 Face with Climate Change

    Face 2 Face with Climate Change The ‘Face 2 Face with climate change’ exhibition is the brainchild of Exeter-based One Planet MBA graduate David Mansell-Moullin. It features 12 of the Exeter based (either at the University or Met Office) IPCC authors through a series of striking large-scale black and white portraits. The scientists featured in the exhibition were all authors (Coordinating, Lead or Contributing) on the latest IPCC 5th Assessment Reports on climate change. The photographic portraits are overlaid with fine text from the IPCC reports so creating a multi-dimensional representation not only of themselves

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  • New Thinking: Skills for the Future

    November 13, 2014

    New Thinking: Skills for the Future

    Skills for the Future Tom Steward, IGov Team, 13th November, 2014 About Tom: http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/igov/people/igov-team/tom-steward/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Steward_T   Yesterday Matthew Hancock gave the go-ahead to a new brand of colleges focussing on onshore oil and gas extraction. These ‘centres of excellence’ will train young people at a range of levels (from A-level up to post-graduate) to ready them for a career in the oil and gas industry. This comes on the same day that the UK Energy Research Council (UKERC) launched a report on the role of gas, which explores how gas can act as a bridge to

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  • Book Review: The Entrepreneurial State

    November 11, 2014

    Book Review: The Entrepreneurial State

    Book Review: The Entrepreneurial State - Debunking Public versus Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato (2013, Anthem Press) Catherine Mitchell, 11th November 2014 Introduction Mariana Mazzucato’s (MM) is an economist who has just received a New Statesman SPERI prize, from a short list including Ha-Joon Chang (University of Cambridge); and Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics). The 2013 book is an expanded version of a 2011 Demos report called The Entrepreneurial State anyone, so who wants a short version should look at that. What MM is very good at explaining is what an entrepreneurial State is

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  • New Thinking: Welfare and Sustainable Energy Transitions

    November 6, 2014

    New Thinking: Welfare and Sustainable Energy Transitions

    Blog from Berlin Part Drei – Welfare and Sustainable Energy Transitions Caroline Kuzemko, IGov Team, 6th November, 2014 About Caroline: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Caroline_Kuzemko Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarolineKuzemko In this last of the ‘Blog from Berlin’ trilogy I highlight an under-researched area: that of how questions of welfare tie in with successful energy transitions. When analysing and debating transitions we often talk about how to develop new ways of producing and using energy – emphasising environmental aspects of sustainability. This is, of course, incredibly important but we spend relatively less time considering how to make sure that energy systems are transformed in

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  • New Thinking: Growth, Efficiency, and EU Targets

    November 5, 2014

    New Thinking: Growth, Efficiency, and EU Targets

    Growth, Efficiency, and EU Targets Tom Steward, IGov Team, 5th November, 2014 About Tom: http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/igov/people/igov-team/tom-steward/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Steward_T Last month, EU leaders struck a deal for three targets for 2030 – one on emissions, one on renewables, and one on energy efficiency. It’s this third of these that is troubling me. What was agreed was a non-binding 27% energy efficiency improvement compared to current 2030 projections. This is only moderately more ambitious than the UK official negotiating position, which was for no energy efficiency target at all – on the basis that specific renewables or efficiency

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  • It is the Black Fog the Daily Mail needs to worry about, not the Green Blob

    October 27, 2014

    It is the Black Fog the Daily Mail needs to worry about, not the Green Blob

    It is the Black Fog the Daily Mail needs to worry about, not the Green Blob Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 27th October, 2014 About Catherine: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Catherine_Mitchell As someone who travels a lot, I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about what I like and don’t like about Britain. And at the top of the list of likes is British humour. The Daily Mail picture of Parliament being taken over by the Green Blob, as argued by Owen Paterson, seems to me to be quintessentially British – it is a great, memorable, funny rip-off. There

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