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: The Role of the CCC in a reformed GB Institutional Framework

    November 30, 2017

    New Thinking: The Role of the CCC in a reformed GB Institutional Framework

    The Role of the CCC in a reformed GB Institutional Framework Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 30th November 2017 IGov1 developed a fit-for-purpose GB governance framework (here and here), and is shown in Figure 1 below. This framework endeavours to bring together the relationships between all GB energy institutions in a ‘whole system’ sense, and it endeavours to cover all major institutions which will have to exist, and all high-level institutional decisions which will have to be made in transforming from the current GB governance framework to a fit-for-purpose one. IGov2 has taken this framework – the

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  • New Thinking: Building political consensus for energy transformation in Britain

    November 22, 2017

    New Thinking: Building political consensus for energy transformation in Britain

    Building political consensus for energy transformation in Britain Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 23rd November 2017 The IGov project is about the governance structures and processes needed for the transformation of the British energy system. At the heart of this transformation is the need for the radical decarbonisation of energy, but in a way that is affordable and secure. We believe (and it is now fairly widely accepted) that this transformation will also involve a move away from a centralised supply focused paradigm towards more flexible demand and the expansion of distributed energy resources; indeed these

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  • New Thinking: On Professor Helm’s political economy

    October 30, 2017

    New Thinking: On Professor Helm’s political economy

    On Professor Helm’s political economy Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 30th October 2017 On Professor Helm’s political economy Dieter Helm’s much anticipated cost of energy review has already attracted a lot of critical response, for example on his call for an economy-wide carbon price, the idea of folding the CfD and the Capacity Market into auctions for ‘equivalent firm capacity’, making renewables cover their own intermittency costs, and indeed querying his starting point that energy costs are ‘too high’. CarbonBrief has a useful summary of all the various points that have been made. As others have

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  • New Thinking: The complex world of price caps – should GB have one, and if so who is eligible?

    October 26, 2017

    New Thinking: The complex world of price caps – should GB have one, and if so who is eligible?

    The complex world of price caps – should GB have one, and if so who is eligible? Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 26th October 2017 Energy price caps have been an important part of the political landscape ever since Ed Milliband announced he would freeze prices in 2013, if the Labour Party was elected at the next election. This ultimately led to a Competition and Mergers Authority Investigation into the Energy Market, and the degree to which it is competitive (please see the IGov website for our multiple submissions to the CMA investigation, kicking off with

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  • New Thinking: Energy economics up in air

    September 12, 2017

    New Thinking: Energy economics up in air

    Failure to Forecast the Falling Costs of Offshore Wind and Rising Costs of Nuclear Need to be Investigated in Helm Review Antony Froggatt, IGov Team, 12th September 2017 There can be no doubt that the Government’s announcement of the results of the 2nd round of auctions for allocating financial support scheme for renewables is a major boost for offshore-wind.  The Contracts for Difference (CfD), which is the fixed price that the developer will get paid regardless of the market price of electricity, for offshore wind was agreed at between £57.40-74.75/MWh,  which is a remarkable 50% below the

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  • New Thinking: What’s going on?

    September 7, 2017

    New Thinking: What’s going on?

    What’s going on? Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 7 September 2017 In July this year, at the IGov2 Advisory Group meeting, a widely made point was that there are multiple initiatives to do with the emerging future energy system in Britain at the moment. The landscape is very busy, crowded and potentially confusing. As part of trying to better define for ourselves where IGov2 fits in, we said we would try to provide an outline mapping of what is going on. Once we started we realised that this is of course trickier than it sounds – it’s

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  • New Thinking: Summer Madness – trying to keep up with BEIS / Ofgem consultations and documents

    August 25, 2017

    New Thinking: Summer Madness – trying to keep up with BEIS / Ofgem consultations and documents

    Summer Madness – trying to keep up with BEIS / Ofgem consultations and documents Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 25th August 2017 Ofgem’s Open Letter about RIIO-2 was published on 12 July, and any comments on it are due on 4 September 2017. On 4 August, Ofgem (or Ofgem and BEIS) released a set of ‘related’ documents – all of them in their way relevant to the RIIO-2 consultation. These were the Ofgem Strategy for Regulating the Future Energy System; the joint BEIS / Ofgem Plan for a smart, flexible power system with the Government (which resulted

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  • New Thinking: Open Banking – Open Energy

    August 2, 2017

    New Thinking: Open Banking – Open Energy

    Open Banking: Open Energy – a way forward for opening up energy data and innovation? Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 2nd August 2017 This past week has seen the welcome release of the BEIS / Ofgem Upgrading Our Energy System – Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan. Moving to a vibrant, flexible, efficient energy system will require a far deeper, more granular knowledge about GB energy flows. Conventional energy companies – some of which currently have access to data, for example, network companies and suppliers – are trying to work out how they can use ‘their’ data to

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  • New Thinking: A new development in code governance

    July 26, 2017

    New Thinking: A new development in code governance

    Rebellion from below? A new development in code governance Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 26 July 2017 One important element of IGov’s research has been on the governance of the industry codes and regulations that set the detailed commercial and technical rules for the gas and electricity systems in Britain. We have argued that the codes governance arrangements are prone to capture by the large incumbent vertically-integrated generator-supplier companies, as well as the large monopoly network companies, leading not only to the detriment of consumers but also to the slowing of a sustainable energy transition. Our most

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  • New thinking: Ofgem has to be reformed if GB is to meet its energy policy goals

    June 28, 2017

    New thinking: Ofgem has to be reformed if GB is to meet its energy policy goals

    Ofgem has to be reformed if GB is to meet its energy policy goals Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 28th June 2017 Ofgem has announced its decision on how to pay for embedded generation, which is to accept its March ‘minded to’ decision. This is the latest stage in what is known as the embedded generation saga – explained here and here. IGov deplores this latest Ofgem decision. As IGov has argued before, we think that Ofgem should not take this narrow decision about embedded benefits now but wait until a clear decision on the institutional needs

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