• Paper: Environmental politics in a cold climate

    August 18, 2014

    Paper: Environmental politics in a cold climate

    Environmental politics in a cold climate By: Matthew Lockwood Published in: Juncture 21.1 (89-96): Summer 2014 Introduction Ten years ago, in early 2004, the chief scientist David King went on the record as saying that climate change was a far greater threat than international terrorism. That spring Tony Blair said that ‘there is no bigger long-term question facing the global community’, and pledged to make tackling climate change a priority for the 2005 G8 meeting, which the UK was hosting. Over the next five years, environmental issues (most obviously climate change) climbed the political agenda, with a surge in media coverage

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  • Submission to CMA energy market investigation

    August 18, 2014

    Submission to CMA energy market investigation

    University of Exeter Energy Policy Group response to the CMA Energy Market Investigation Statement of Issues 1. Introduction  The EPG welcomes this CMA investigation. The Statement of Issues (henceforth the Statement) states that the investigation (para 2) ‘is required to determine whether any feature or combination of features of each relevant market prevents, restricts or distorts competition in connection with the supply or acquisition of any goods or services in the UK or part of the UK’. The Statement sets out its initial theories of what might be adversely affecting competition and what those adverse

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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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  • Opinion Piece: Climate change – it’s not too late to change gloomy prognosis

    August 11, 2014

    Opinion Piece: Climate change – it’s not too late to change gloomy prognosis

    Wind and solar energy are essential ingredients in our move to a sustainable economy here in the Westcountry, argues Professor Catherine Mitchell. Much has been written in these pages about the impact of wind and solar farms on our landscape in the Westcountry. Everyone has their own views about energy. I am someone who loves wind turbines, solar panels and renewable electricity in general. I look at wind turbines and think: this is positive; this is making the world a better place; this is a clean energy future for our children. I have solar water

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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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  • Submission to ECCC call for evidence on electricity demand-side measures

    July 18, 2014

    Submission to ECCC call for evidence on electricity demand-side measures

    University of Exeter Energy Policy Group response to ECCC call for evidence on electricity demand-side measures Submitted by (alphabetically): Richard Hoggett, Matthew Lockwood, Catherine Mitchell and Tom Steward – Energy Policy Group, University of Exeter. 9th July 2014 We welcome the opportunity to submit evidence to the inquiry. As the inquiry particulars set out, reduction in demand can be temporary (known as demand-side response (DSR)) or permanent (known as electricity demand reduction (EDR). We use this nomenclature throughout this response. We have primarily directed our responses to three main questions set out in the terms of reference. Overall, our view is that the

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  • Lessons from America: is the US form of ‘decoupling’ transferable to GB?

    July 18, 2014

    Lessons from America: is the US form of ‘decoupling’ transferable to GB?

    Is the US form of ‘decoupling’ (ie breaking the link between energy saving and reduced revenues) transferable to GB? Catherine Mitchell, IGov Team, 18th July, 2014 About Catherine: http://geography.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Catherine_Mitchell There is an implicit incentive in traditional economic regulation which compels utilities (meaning the main components of energy systems (producers/generators, transmitters, distributors and retail / supply) to encourage consumption rather than to reduce energy use. Utilities make more money selling energy than they can when encouraging an efficient use of it. This is at odds with current energy policy and is sometimes known as the throughput incentive

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