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.

  • CMA Energy Market Investigation – Updated Issues Statement

    February 18, 2015

    CMA Energy Market Investigation – Updated Issues Statement

    CMA Energy Market Investigation – Updated Issues Statement Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 18th February 2015 The Competition and Mergers Authority (CMA) has just published an Updated issues Statement.  This is one of a series of consultative documents which will be published during the course of the investigation for before publication of the provisional findings in May 2015. Source: CMA 2014: 6 The Updated Issues Statement sets out a number of areas where the CMA has come to preliminary, but not final, findings and also areas where they would like to have more information. As the

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  • New Thinking: Turning a First Step into a Journey: Energy Efficiency in the Private Rental Sector

    February 17, 2015

    New Thinking: Turning a First Step into a Journey: Energy Efficiency in the Private Rental Sector

    Turning a First Step into a Journey: Energy Efficiency in the Private Rental Sector Tom Steward, IGov Team, 17th February 2015 About Tom: http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/igov/people/igov-team/tom-steward/ In recent weeks came the final confirmation of another policy designed to help improve efficiency in the private rental sector. Originally provisioned in the 2011 Energy Act, a Government response to consultation sets out that from 2018, all private rental sector properties [1] have to have a minimum standard of EPC rating E. This was coupled with a ruling that from 2016, landlords will be unable to refuse reasonable requests from tenants for the

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  • New Thinking: Last ditch bullying by Coalition Government to keep Hinkley on track

    February 12, 2015

    New Thinking: Last ditch bullying by Coalition Government to keep Hinkley on track

    Last ditch bullying by Coalition Government to keep Hinkley on track Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 12th February 2015 The UK is now ‘issuing threats’ to Austria that a series of retaliatory measures will be undertaken if Austria goes ahead with its legal challenge to the EU State Aid decision approving GB Government support for Hinkley point nuclear power plant. The Guardian reports the Austria Chancellor’s spokesman saying that this ‘is a kind of behaviour we don’t want to see among partners in the EU’. All of which points to the desperation that the Coalition is showing

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  • New Thinking: We need Board Quota’s for Women in Energy

    February 3, 2015

    New Thinking: We need Board Quota’s for Women in Energy

    We need Board Quota’s for Women in Energy Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 3rd February 2015 A new report Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) and POWERful Women (PfW) (an industry body) Igniting Change: building the pipeline of female leaders in energy calls for 40% of energy company middle management and 30% of executive boards to be female by 2030, and sets out a route map for it to be achieved. New research for the report shows that 61% of those surveyed believe the most compelling commercial reason for increased gender diversity is better decision making. Igniting Change: building the

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  • 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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