People, Demand and Governance in Future Energy Systems
EPG Working Paper: 1701
The energy system within Great Britain has to decarbonise whilst maintaining security and affordability, and this requires coordinated action across the whole energy system. The energy system is already undergoing fundamental change due to a wide range of technological, social and economic drivers, and there is some consensus that direction of travel is towards decentralisation and the demand side. These changes are much closer to people and there is a need to recognise, and value, the central role that they play within the energy system, not only in terms of creating demand, but also in terms of adopting technologies, changing behaviour and accepting change in the places that they live and work. This paper explores these issues by taking a high level overview of the energy system and the pressures it faces and by examining how systems are beginning to change and how they might change. This leads to a number of key findings including the need to put end users at the centre of the energy system to enable engagement, gain meaningful consent and to build legitimacy and trust. In addition, the central role that governance plays in enabling this to happen is highlighted, along with its importance for facilitating a coordinated approach to a demand focussed, future energy system. This requires a new fit for purpose governance framework.
Keywords: Governance, people, end users, demand side, demand reduction; demand side response; distributed energy resources; energy transformations; consent; trust
Date: 6 Feb 2017
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