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 changing role of consumers in the energy system

    July 8, 2016

    New Thinking: The changing role of consumers in the energy system

    Rethinking the role of consumers in our evolving energy system Richard Hoggett, IGov Team, 8th July 2016 The GB energy system is designed to meet the energy demand of consumers, whether they are domestic, commercial or industrial users. Regardless of the level or timing of demand, the system is designed to ensure there is always sufficient supply available to meet it. This practice dates back to the post war years when the desire was to maximise energy output to keep pace with growing demand, to support economic growth. This supply-oriented focus has changed little since

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  • US Regulatory Reform: NY utility transformation

    June 13, 2016

    US Regulatory Reform: NY utility transformation

    US REGULATORY REFORM SERIES What, and how, the New York utilities are expected to transform to over the next decade – the New York REV’s Ratemaking May 2016 Order Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 13 June 2016  In April 2014, Governor Cuomo of New York kicked off the New York Reforming the Energy Vision (NY REV). This encompasses multiple dimensions of regulated administrated programs, regulatory reform and new institutions – all of which work together to create an enabling environment for a transition to a sustainable energy future for New York State (NYS). The administered programs include

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  • New Thinking: Putting the environment back in GB energy policy

    May 31, 2016

    New Thinking: Putting the environment back in GB energy policy

    Putting the environment back into GB energy policy – stop being complacent about emission reduction Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 31 May 2016    British energy policy (and its institutions) is way too complacent about the health of the GB energy industry, and its future. IGov argues for greater linkage between the CCC – which sets out in broad terms the GHG emission reduction needed by a certain time – and energy policy and the energy industry. It seems to us that there is a major mitigation-size gap in the current institutional framework – no one institution

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  • New Thinking: Germany’s €17bn Energy Efficiency Strategy – Where’s Ours?

    May 19, 2016

    New Thinking: Germany’s €17bn Energy Efficiency Strategy – Where’s Ours?

    Germany’s €17bn Energy Efficiency Strategy: Where’s Ours? Caroline Kuzemko, IGov Team, 19th May, 2016 At the time of writing the IGov working paper on ‘Governing for Demand Management Innovations in Germany’ earlier this year it was rumoured that there would be a new, comprehensive energy efficiency strategy. Germany has already made considerable gains in demand reduction for energy, and electricity, so much so that there have been claims about a decoupling between GDP growth and electricity demand. However, Germany also has tough demand reduction targets that they are determined to meet – not least a

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  • New Thinking: Solar surprise, revisited

    May 6, 2016

    New Thinking: Solar surprise, revisited

    Solar surprise, revisited Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 6th May 2016 Now that the spring sunshine has finally arrived, I thought I would revisit a chart that I showed at an STA conference last year and which was subsequently picked up by Ofgem Chief Exec Dermot Nolan in a speech to Energy UK (and misattributed to Cornwall Energy…). Ofgem has also used it more widely as part of their narrative on energy system change, including talks on their innovation plan and smart energy. It is all to do with the dangers of underestimating the potential pace

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  • New Thinking: Restructuring GB’s Energy Institutions

    April 18, 2016

    New Thinking: Restructuring GB’s Energy Institutions

    Restructuring GB’s Energy Institutions – why it is worth the cost Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 18 April 2016  IGov has been advocating an institutional framework (see Figure 1) which it argues will better meet the challenges faced by the GB energy system, whilst also opening up new opportunities and enabling their capture (Table 1 at the end). However, from the point of DECC and the Minister, one can understand if they ask: what is the cost of this, and is it worth the effort? We argue that we cannot know what the true ‘total’ benefits

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  • New Thinking: Distribution Service Providers

    April 15, 2016

    New Thinking: Distribution Service Providers

    Distribution Service Providers – an Update 15th April 2016 In January we produced a blog introducing the idea of Distribution Services Providers. Since then we have been discussing and thinking about the idea in more detail and the slides below help explain what a DSP does. The slides show: the NY Reforming the Energy Vision to explain that DSPs are a new value proposition and become the ‘heart’ of the electricity system . how a DSP is the opposite of a traditional network company in relation to system optimisation and energy services. what the role

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  • New Thinking: Hinkley Point C, time for a Plan B

    March 11, 2016

    New Thinking: Hinkley Point C, time for a Plan B

    Hinkley Point C, time for a Plan B Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 11 March 2016  Five years ago today, the Fukishima nuclear power plant disaster happened, precipitating closure of all 40 or so nuclear power plants working in Japan at that time, with only one re-opened and working since then. Just prior to this in 2010, the GB Coalition Government announced details of their Electricity Market Reform (EMR), the intention of which was to put in place a framework suitable to attract investment in new nuclear power plants. Since then, GB has witnessed an unfolding

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  • New Thinking: CMA Summary of Provisional Decisions

    March 10, 2016

    New Thinking: CMA Summary of Provisional Decisions

    The CMA Summary of Provisional Decisions: a mixed bag of good and bad, but overall misses the real issues faced by the GB energy system Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 10 March 2016  The CMA has announced its Energy Market Investigation Summary of Provisional Decision on Remedies (with a shorter version available here). The full version will be published shortly.  Overall, it is a mixed bag – quite a few good things; some bad things. However, the CMA, by virtue of its Duties, has to investigate the energy market within the dimension of competition, and to

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  • New Thinking: Women in Energy 2016

    March 8, 2016

    New Thinking: Women in Energy 2016

    E & Y Report 2016: Women in Energy – very little change from last year. Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 8 March 2016  Ernst and Young have just published their 3rd Annual Report about women in the power sector. As can be seen from the figure below 5% of executive board members are women – the same from last year;  non-execs have gone up 2% to 19%; the total women board members (exec and non-exec) is up 1% to 16% and senior management is also up 1% to 14%.  At this rate, it will take

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