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.

  • New Thinking: Climate Emergency Declarations Accelerating Decarbonisation?

    September 20, 2019

    New Thinking: Climate Emergency Declarations Accelerating Decarbonisation?

    Climate Emergency Declarations Accelerating Decarbonisation? What 249 UK examples can tell us. Calum Harvey-Scholes, IGov Team 20th September 2019 Introduction Following the IPCC 1.5oC Special Report in October 2018, it is clearer than ever that we need to accelerate decarbonisation policy at every level to limit global heating. We know that more than half of all anthropogenic carbon emissions have occurred in the past 30 years, since the establishment of the IPCC, and global carbon emissions are still climbing every year. The IPCC report, the school climate strikes, Extinction Rebellion, and Climate Change: The Facts

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  • Shortcut to Key IGov Findings

    August 1, 2019

    Shortcut to Key IGov Findings

    Shortcut to key IGov findings 1st August 2019 This blog wraps up some of the key IGov ideas and arguments, providing a ‘quick’ read and introduction. The IGov website has over 600 pieces of work on it and is the place to go for full details. The IGov project is coming to an end in the autumn (2019) and the next few months are going to be spent disseminating our arguments for the governance reform we think is needed if we are to accelerate and more cost effectively enable the transformation to a sustainable, equitable,

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  • Electricity Market Design 5: Summary of blog series

    July 24, 2019

    Electricity Market Design 5: Summary of blog series

    Blog 5: Market Design Issues for a smart, flexible, sustainable and secure energy system: Summary blog Thomas Pownall 24th July 2019 The UK’s electricity market design is outdated. Our current policies and rules dictate how our market operates and reflects a legacy of an electricity system which we need to depart from in order to achieve our decarbonisation targets but, also, to run a cost effective electricity system. We now have the scope to transition to a 21st century electricity market design, one which supports the deployment of renewable technologies, storage, improved energy efficiencies and

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  • Electricity Market Design 4: Proposed design

    July 24, 2019

    Electricity Market Design 4: Proposed design

    Blog 4: Market Design Issues for a smart, flexible, sustainable and secure energy system: Proposed design Thomas Pownall 24th July 2019 The vision As mentioned Blog 2 there are several academics who have proposed their own electricity market design, each with their own vision and goals. These designs have intended outcomes with subsequent winners and losers. We argue that the proposed electricity market design in this blog suits an energy efficient system based on renewables, storage, DSR and interconnection, fully utilising distribution resources.  The proposal consciously enables these resources but does not exclude ‘traditional’ supply. It

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  • Electricity Market Design 3: The institutional glue to link markets & networks

    July 24, 2019

    Electricity Market Design 3: The institutional glue to link markets & networks

    Blog 3: Market Design Issues for a smart, flexible, sustainable and secure energy system: The institutional glue to link markets and networks By Thomas Pownall  24th July 2019* A fit for purpose inter-related set of market designs (i.e. for electricity, heat etc.) are only one key dimension of a successful energy system transformation. These markets are not sufficient by themselves. If we are to achieve our decarbonisation targets, we (i.e. the UK) need a suitable institutional framework governing the energy system, of which market design issues are just one part. IGov has set out this

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  • Electricity Market Design 2: the ‘rules of the game’ and why they no longer work

    July 23, 2019

    Electricity Market Design 2: the ‘rules of the game’ and why they no longer work

    Blog 2: Market Design Issues for a smart, flexible, sustainable and secure energy system: The ‘rules of the game’ and why they no longer work By Thomas Pownall  23rd July 2019 As argued in the first blog, electricity market design can be considered as a social construct, representing interwoven policies and interests which not only dictate how actors perform within the electricity market, but also offer a glimpse into the historic scenario for which the design was originally proposed. In this blog we explore several issues present in our energy system due to the current

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  • Electricity Market Design: Setting the Scene

    July 23, 2019

    Electricity Market Design: Setting the Scene

    Blog 1 Electricity Market Design Issues for a smart, flexible, sustainable and secure energy system: Setting the Scene By Thomas Pownall  23rd July 2019 Many countries have increased their renewable energy generation over the last few decades. This is a great achievement to date, but simply adding capacity is not enough to achieve a more sustainable energy system. The governance of many aspects of our energy system needs to be reconsidered, including placing the consumer at the heart of the energy system. This blog series is centred on electricity market design, rules and incentives. It

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  • New Thinking: The IGov institutional framework for energy governance

    July 9, 2019

    New Thinking: The IGov institutional framework for energy governance

    The IGov institutional framework for energy governance: Co-ordinated national and local governance of electricity, heat and energy services Catherine Mitchell, Rebecca Willis, Richard Hoggett, Tom Pownall, Richard Lowes, Jess Britton 9th July 2019* Since 2012, the IGov research project has examined how the energy system is governed, in GB and elsewhere, and what changes are necessary to bring about a secure, fair, zero-carbon system. In this blog, we bring together our proposals for the institutional frameworks that we argue are required. IGov has already published (in draft form) its proposals for the institutional framework at

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  • New Thinking: Governance for local energy transformations

    July 3, 2019

    New Thinking: Governance for local energy transformations

    Governance for local energy transformations Jess Britton, IGov Team, 3rd July 2019* It is an understatement to say that there has been a refocussing on local level coordination in energy system change. I have written before about the momentum at this scale, as well as the renewed attention of Local Enterprise Partnership (LEPs) and emerging Local Industrial Strategies in this area. There has also been the announcement of major demonstrator funding for smart, local energy systems via the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. But despite these developments there remains a significant mismatch between activity at this

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  • The significance of Parliament’s Citizens Assembly on net zero

    June 20, 2019

    The significance of Parliament’s Citizens Assembly on net zero

    Viewpoint: The significance of Parliament’s Citizens Assembly on net zero By Dr Matthew Lockwood, Senior Lecturer in Energy Policy, SPRU 20th June 2019 The announcement today from six House of Commons Select Committees that they are to hold a Citizens Assembly (CA) on how we might achieve a pathway to net zero emissions is a major step. The move is clearly inspired by (and made under pressure from) the upsurge of activism on climate change – school strikes, Extinction Rebellion protests, the resurgence of the Green New Deal and the declaration by numerous institutions, including Parliament,

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