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 Blog: Come on Ed – time to convince us that Labour can deliver green growth

    March 22, 2013

    New Thinking Blog: Come on Ed – time to convince us that Labour can deliver green growth

    Come on Ed – time to convince us that Labour can deliver green growth Caroline Kuzemko, IGov Team, 22nd, March 2013 About Caroline: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Caroline_Kuzemko Twitter: https://twitter.com/CarolineKuzemko It seems that the time is right for Labour to grab both the growth and the sustainable energy mantles. This is not least because it is budget week, which allows for extra Labour air-time. But it is also because of mounting evidence that our Con-Dem Government is failing both to deliver economic growth and to recognise the potential of the low carbon economy. Both Ed Miliband and Ed Balls

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  • New Thinking Blog: Something stirring down on the farm

    March 18, 2013

    New Thinking Blog: Something stirring down on the farm

    Something stirring down on the farm Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, 18th March 2013 About Matthew: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Matthew_Lockwood Twitter: https://twitter.com/climatepolitics Out of sight of the mass of people living in towns and cities, a quiet revolution is underway in the British countryside as more and more farmers are investing in renewable energy. According to the National Farmers Union, one in five of its members had produced clean electricity from solar or wind by the end of 2012. Between 2011 and 2012 there was a 28% increase in the number of biogas plants, capable of providing both renewable electricity

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  • New Thinking Blog: The New Energy System is Winning the Fight for the Future

    March 11, 2013

    New Thinking Blog: The New Energy System is Winning the Fight for the Future

    The New Energy System is Winning the Fight for the Future Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 11th March 2013 About Catherine: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Catherine_Mitchell Twitter: https://twitter.com/exeterepg In the middle of 2011,  Germany announced its new energy policy: the energiewende or energy transformation. This is a 40 year programme with aspirational targets along the way including for renewable energy to provide 35% of electricity and 18% of energy by 2020 rising to greater than 80% of electricity and 60% of energy by 2050; with total energy demand to be cut by 50% by 2050; total carbon emissions to be cut

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  • New Thinking Blog: Fudging the future – why we need a 2030 decarbonisation target

    February 27, 2013

    New Thinking Blog: Fudging the future – why we need a 2030 decarbonisation target

    Fudging the future – political divisions over a 2030 decarbonisation target are threatening the economy, energy security, bills and climate change. Richard Hoggett, IGov Team, 27th February 2013 About Richard: http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/igov/people/igov-team/richard-hoggett/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/HoggettRD The last few weeks have seen growing evidence from a broad range of organisations and commentators on the need for the Energy Bill to include a 2030 decarbonisation target (as well as the inevitable counter arguments in much of the media, and political circles). The problem is there is no simple route for developing a secure, affordable, low carbon energy system. Regardless

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  • New Thinking Blog: Is the Green Deal a Good Deal?

    February 18, 2013

    New Thinking Blog: Is the Green Deal a Good Deal?

    Is the Green Deal a Good Deal? Tom Steward, IGov Team, 18th Feb 2013 About Tom: http://projects.exeter.ac.uk/igov/people/igov-team/tom-steward/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Steward_T It’s been a long time coming, but the end of January finally saw the Green Deal open for business. This is the coalition’s flagship policy designed to reduce energy demand by addressing Great Britain’s notoriously leaky (thermally speaking) housing stock. People are offered the opportunity to improve the efficiency of their homes at next to no upfront cost, by means of a loan which is repaid through electricity bills. Uniquely, the loan is attached to the

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  • New Thinking Blog: Four Subjectivities of Nuclear Energy

    February 11, 2013

    New Thinking Blog: Four Subjectivities of Nuclear Energy

    Four Subjectivities of Nuclear Energy Caroline Kuzemko, IGov Team, February 11th 2013 For such an advanced technology decisions about whether to include nuclear power in the electricity generation mix are highly subjective, and subject to no small amount of flip-flopping.  Exploring and understanding what these subjectivities are, and how they relate to energy policy objectives, is vital if we are to get to the bottom of political decision making regarding nuclear power. We might first explain these subjectivities with reference to the observation that aspects of nuclear power are difficult to quantify.  Historically nuclear power

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  • New Thinking Blog: Do we need a 2030 decarbonisation target for the electricity sector?

    February 4, 2013

    New Thinking Blog: Do we need a 2030 decarbonisation target for the electricity sector?

    Do we need a 2030 decarbonisation target for the electricity sector? Matthew Lockwood, IGov Team, February 5th 2013 It’s widely expected that the electricity sector will lead the transition to a low carbon economy in the UK. Producing about 40% of our carbon emissions, electricity generation plays a central role in determining our overall emissions performance. That is why the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said in 2011 that they thought it should be emitting around 50 grams of CO2 for every kWh of power produced by 2030, compared with over 440gCO2/kWh in 2011. Not

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  • New Thinking Blog: Book Review of the Carbon Crunch

    January 30, 2013

    New Thinking Blog: Book Review of the Carbon Crunch

    Prof. Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team – 29th January 2013. BOOK REVIEW Overview It is an important time for climate and energy policy decision-making in the UK, and Dieter Helm’s book The Carbon Crunch: How we’re getting climate change wrong – and how to fix it purports to provide the ‘right’ answers. His book is divided into three parts: Why should we worry about climate change? Why is so little being achieved? What should be done? There is no doubt that this is a timely book; it has stimulated welcome debate; and some of its arguments

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  • New Thinking Blog: Energy Oversight Needed

    January 8, 2013

    New Thinking Blog: Energy Oversight Needed

    Prof. Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team – 8th January 2013. The Energy Bill has finally been published and will now go through a scrutiny process. We can hope that various changes will be incorporated. Unless changes are made, we the British public wil be stuck with an Act which does not fundamentally reform the electricity market as it set out to do. Its critics argue that its central component of getting nuclear power off the ground is unlikely to be successful beyond 1-3 power plants – too few to make a dent in the carbon emission reduction

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