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: The empire strikes back – first capacity auction outcomes

    January 26, 2015

    New Thinking: The empire strikes back – first capacity auction outcomes

    The empire strikes back – first capacity auction outcomes Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 26 Jan 2015 About Matthew: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Matthew_Lockwood Twitter: https://twitter.com/climatepolitics As regular readers of the IGov blog will know, one of our favourite topics is the capacity market – see here, here and here – probably because it is such a clear demonstration of how governance of the UK energy system can act to impede change in the direction of a more sustainable system. Now the results of the first capacity market are in, the dust is settling, and it is beginning to become clear what has

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  • New Thinking: Rethinking the role of energy – the Labour 14th January debate

    January 13, 2015

    New Thinking: Rethinking the role of energy – the Labour 14th January debate

    Rethinking the role of energy – the Labour 14th January debate Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 13th January 2015 Ed Miliband announced last Sunday that the Labour Party is going to force a vote in Parliament on Wednesday (14th January) to fast track legislation which gives Ofgem, the Regulator, the power to force energy suppliers to cut their prices when wholesale costs fall, if firms don’t do it first. This gauntlet was thrown down after George Osborne placed energy at the centre of an early election campaign, calling for another investigation into prices and for suppliers

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  • New Thinking: Overcoming inertia is the key to unlocking a sustainable energy future

    January 12, 2015

    New Thinking: Overcoming inertia is the key to unlocking a sustainable energy future

    Forget the ‘trilemma’ – tackling the fourth challenge of inertia is the key to unlocking a sustainable energy future Since the 2007 Energy White Paper, energy policy in the UK has sought to address three main challenges: it must be clean, it must be secure, and it must be affordable. The energy trilemma, as it has come to be known encapsulates the problem inherent in having three, sometimes conflicting, priorities. For some (notably politicians who are keen to satisfy everyone), the trilemma is ultimately solvable. It is a challenge that can be addressed, with trade-offs

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  • 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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