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: Network governance and distributed energy resources

    October 15, 2014

    New Thinking: Network governance and distributed energy resources

    Network governance and distributed energy resources Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 15 October 2014 About Matthew: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Matthew_Lockwood Twitter: https://twitter.com/climatepolitics A new IGov working paper on energy networks give a comprehensive account of the rules and incentives for network operators and network users (generators, shippers, suppliers and consumers), and how these facilitate, slow or block a shift to a more demand side focused energy system in Britain, along with a greater use of distributed energy resources. Most of these rules and incentives are created by economic regulation of networks or come under industry codes and standards, and the paper also

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  • New Thinking: Capacity market and DSR – the thin purple line

    October 9, 2014

    New Thinking: Capacity market and DSR – the thin purple line

    Capacity market and DSR – the thin purple line Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 9 October 2014 About Matthew: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Matthew_Lockwood Twitter: https://twitter.com/climatepolitics Back in August, my colleague Catherine Mitchell wrote about Britain’s new Capacity Market being introduced as part of the Electricity Market Reform package. National Grid has now released figures on what capacity has pre-qualified for the CM: Apart from the point made by Greenpeace and Sandbag that the CM looks likely to prop up our old coal-fired capacity, what is particularly disappointing but not surprising is the picture on demand-side response. In total, just over 1

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  • New Thinking: Is the centralised utility model past its sell-by date?

    October 6, 2014

    New Thinking: Is the centralised utility model past its sell-by date?

    Is the avalanche of financial reports right? Is the centralised utility model past its sell-by date? Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 6th October, 2014 About Catherine: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Catherine_Mitchell Citi (1) is the latest financial institution to publish a short report on the future of the centralised utility model, but with a specific focus on GB. They argue that due to increasing competition the market share of the Big 6 will decline from 98% in 2013 to below 70% by 2020; and that the total profit pool available to them will decline by 40% by 2020. Ultimately, they say,

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  • New Thinking Blog: The times, they are a’changing

    September 12, 2014

    New Thinking Blog: The times, they are a’changing

    The times, they are a’changing Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 12 September 2014 About Matthew: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Matthew_Lockwood Twitter: https://twitter.com/climatepolitics As John Harris argues in today’s Guardian, there are deep shifts going on in the nature of democracy across the UK (and actually the rest of Europe too). The predominant mood is one of rejection of political elites and conventional party politics by an electorate who have experienced a decade of declining living standards and increased economic uncertainty. Much of the rise of the ‘Yes’ vote for Scottish independence reflects this mood, but so does the emergence of UKIP in

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  • Blog from Berlin – Part Zwei: Why Culture and Institutions Matter in Low Carbon Transformations

    September 11, 2014

    Blog from Berlin – Part Zwei: Why Culture and Institutions Matter in Low Carbon Transformations

    Blog from Berlin – Part Zwei: Why Culture and Institutions Matter in Low Carbon Transformations Caroline Kuzemko, IGov Team, 11th September, 2014 About Caroline: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Caroline_Kuzemko Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarolineKuzemko Here at IGov we are starting to conduct some comparative analyses between UK governance for sustainable energy innovations and governance in Germany, Denmark, California and Texas.  We are doing this partly in order to understand more about governing for transformation, but also to try and draw some lessons for the UK.  We do, however, seek to draw lessons in a manner that is sensitive to the notion that energy and climate governance

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  • New Thinking: The odd couple – will a new Strategy and Policy Statement help sort out the relationship between government and Ofgem?

    August 18, 2014

    New Thinking: The odd couple – will a new Strategy and Policy Statement help sort out the relationship between government and Ofgem?

    The odd couple: Will a new Strategy and Policy Statement help sort out the relationship between government and Ofgem? Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 18 August 2014 About Matthew: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Matthew_Lockwood Twitter: https://twitter.com/climatepolitics Back in 2011, shortly after coming into power, the Government did a review of Ofgem – some may remember that the Conservatives were unhappy with the regulator, and their 2010 manifesto promised reforms to make it focus more on government policy. That review basically said that the guidance given by the previous government to Ofgem over the 2000s had not been effective, and a clearer statement

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  • Lessons from America Series:  A quick link to all 8 blogs – Lets not be so parochial in GB

    August 4, 2014

    Lessons from America Series:  A quick link to all 8 blogs – Lets not be so parochial in GB

    A quick link to all 8 blogs: Lets not be so parochial in GB Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 4th August, 2014 About Catherine: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Catherine_Mitchell Europe’s 500 million (m) population dwarfs the US’s 320 m but the US, with its 50 States, has a far bigger pool of differing energy regulatory situations to experiment and learn from than Europe’s 25 countries; and the States have a far longer history of working together than Europe does. American, or specifically the USA (as opposed to Canadian or South American) energy regulation is, at first sight, very different from that in

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  • Lessons from America: Capacity market details and demand side response

    August 1, 2014

    Lessons from America: Capacity market details and demand side response

    Capacity market details and demand side response Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 1st August, 2014 About Catherine: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Catherine_Mitchell Back in 2010, the UK Government announced an Electricity Market Reform (EMR) which was to transform the GB electricity system into one fit for the 21st Century. One of the four main planks of EMR is a capacity market (CM). It was argued that such a CM was necessary (1) in order to stimulate sufficient investment to ensure security of supply, and the Government’s original preferred option was a targeted strategic reserve mechanism (page 100, para 69). Since 2010,

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  • New Thinking Blog: Women and Energy

    July 28, 2014

    New Thinking Blog: Women and Energy

    Women and Energy Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 28th July, 2014 About Catherine: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Catherine_Mitchell A recent Ernst and Young report has shown that only 4% of executive board members of the top 100 utility companies is female. Not only does the sector have minimal women, but it is also primarily older and white in character – with 60% of its management over 40. The report argues that this is worrying in terms of diversity of thinking given that the current big kit, centralised energy model is in the middle of fundamental disruptive change and needs new and

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  • New Thinking Blog: The Boundary of The CMA Energy Market Investigation

    July 24, 2014

    New Thinking Blog: The Boundary of The CMA Energy Market Investigation

    The Boundary of The CMA Energy Market Investigation Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 24th July, 2014 About Catherine: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Catherine_Mitchell The CMA has just announced the Statement of Issues for its Energy Market Investigation. Overall, it is a good document and explicitly invites parties to tell them, with reasons, if the issues they have identified should or should not be within scope, and if any issues have been missed. The submission deadline is 14 August 2014 – not great for some of us going on holiday in August – and should be sent to EnergyMarket@cma.gsi.gov.uk. As the Statement

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