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: GB Policy Conservatism – we are in the vicious policy cycle phase

    February 15, 2019

    New Thinking: GB Policy Conservatism – we are in the vicious policy cycle phase

    GB Policy Conservatism – we are in the vicious policy cycle phase Catherine Mitchell – IGov Team, 15th February 2019 Anyone who has read anything that IGov has produced over the last 6 years knows that we argue that GB energy governance, of which energy policy is one part, is not fit for purpose. And on this day of striking schoolchildren and students, it increasingly seems to me that it is not just our infrastructure, regulation, policy and markets which are unfit for purpose but the really big problem is that Britain does not seem

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  • New Thinking: Simplifying energy governance to help the UK’s path to zero-carbon

    January 25, 2019

    New Thinking: Simplifying energy governance to help the UK’s path to zero-carbon

    Simplifying energy governance to help the UK’s path to zero-carbon  Rebecca Willis, IGov Team, 25th January 2019   The UK’s Climate Change Act sets an admirably simple, legally-binding framework for carbon reduction. The targets are clear. Yet the means to achieve them are opaque. As the government considers strengthening the UK’s targets, and moving toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the IGov project has offered evidence to the Committee on Climate Change on governance of the energy system. Pointing out the multiple, confusing institutions, policies and timeframes that characterise energy governance, IGov argue that

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  • New Thinking: The changing role of cities & local energy

    November 26, 2018

    New Thinking: The changing role of cities & local energy

    The changing role of cities and local energy – does energy system governance need to catch up? Jess Britton, IGov Team, 26th November 2018 It is now widely accepted that the transformation of the UK energy system is well underway with changes to technologies and business models, as well as evolving consumer preferences, challenging many of the principles and structures of the existing centralised and supply focussed energy system. At the same time there is growing consensus that local approaches to energy system change are becoming more important. This blog reviews the changing focus in

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  • New Thinking: Fuel poverty indicator letting down poorer households

    November 23, 2018

    New Thinking: Fuel poverty indicator letting down poorer households

    Fuel poverty indicator letting down poorer households Helen Poulter, 23rd Novermber 2018 Now we are in autumn, with winter and Christmas fast approaching, it’s time to batten down the hatches and keep warm and snug in our homes. A lovely time of year for some but not necessarily for those on a low income.  Shorter days and lower temperatures mean increased energy costs.  There are 3.5 million (12.9%) households in the UK affected by fuel poverty.  The purpose of this blog is to show that the current way of assessing the fuel poor via averaged

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  • Women and Energy in Academia

    October 29, 2018

    Women and Energy in Academia

    Women and Energy in Academia Catherine Mitchell, 29th October 2018 The recent BIEE Summer Conference had a morning breakfast session on women and energy (organised by Karoline Rogge of Sussex), and the talks can be listened to here. We speakers were all asked to answer three questions in relation to our experiences: Juliet Davenport talked about the importance of certain types of business management models; Vivien Geard from BEIS talked about public service; I concentrated on what it has been like for me in academia; and Barbara Vest from Energy UK, ably, chaired it. Since

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  • Presentation: Issues for GB Energy Policy and the IPCC

    October 23, 2018

    Presentation: Issues for GB Energy Policy and the IPCC

    Issues for GB Energy Policy and the IPCC From: Catherine Mitchell Lecture to: DTU Energy Engineering, 23rd October 2018 This presentation can be found here: CM DTU GB Energy Policy_

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  • Blog 1 of Name, Form and Function of Distribution Entities

    October 19, 2018

    Blog 1 of Name, Form and Function of Distribution Entities

    Name, Form and Function of Distribution Entities – clarity and agreement needed across the world Catherine Mitchell – IGov Team, 19th October 2018 The need for the traditional 3 part utility function of planning, operations and market administration broadly continues within the distribution area, even in this changing energy world,  but changing technology, public policy goals, user preferences and business models are challenging whether the traditional distribution utility should still be responsible for each segment; whether the traditional role for the utility  within those segments is also still necessary;  and whether there are new functions

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  • Blog 2 of Name, Form and Function of Distribution Entities

    October 19, 2018

    Blog 2 of Name, Form and Function of Distribution Entities

    Name, Function and Form of Distribution Entities – A brief description of the James McGinness 4 Blog Series By Catherine Mitchell – IGov team, 19th October 2018 A recent 4 blog series by James McGinness, Founding Partner of David Energy based in Brooklyn,  New York City has many interesting ideas about the future needs / functions / form etc. of a fit-for-purpose distribution entity (Blog 1, Blog 2, Blog 3, Blog 4).  His first blog sets out his overall argument on why now is the time to liberalise distribution networks; his 2nd blog talks more

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  • New Thinking: The people’s energy networks?

    September 27, 2018

    New Thinking: The people’s energy networks?

    The people’s energy networks? Labour’s new ownership proposals Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 27th September 2018 To coincide with its annual conference, the Labour Party has just launched a new environmental policy document, The Green Transformation. A key element of its proposals on energy is to bring ‘the UK’s energy transmission and distribution networks back into public ownership’. Much media debate has been on how that will be financed, which is obviously an important issue. Here, however, our focus is on what such a move would mean for the running of networks. Labour’s shadow Chancellor John

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  • New Thinking: Tales of the unexpected

    July 25, 2018

    New Thinking: Tales of the unexpected

    Tales of the unexpected: A policy success story? Helen Poulter, IGov Team, 25th July, 2018 This blog has been written to provide an analysis of how Australia became the world leader in the percentage of households installing small-scale PV (<100kW). It will introduce the initial policies that were put in place at the national and state level which were intended to capture Australia’s solar resource to help reduce the country’s emissions. The blog will discuss other unrelated events happening at the same time which culminated in higher than expected adoption rates. It will also comment on

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