The IGov project is about the governance structures and processes needed for the transformation of the British energy system. At the heart of this transformation is the need for the radical decarbonisation of energy, but in a way that is affordable and secure. We believe (and it is now fairly widely accepted) that this transformation will also involve a move away from a centralised supply focused paradigm towards more flexible demand and the expansion of distributed energy resources; indeed these changes are already under way. However, such a transformation is also inherently political, in a number of ways. First, there will be winners and losers, and some of the possible losers include actors which are currently large and highly influential. Second, the new energy system will require people to engage with energy in new ways, for example as prosumers, as managers of demand, even if only indirectly. Third, even though we may manage to minimise the overall costs of transformation over the medium to long term, there will be upfront costs, which currently fall on consumers (the Committee on Climate Change estimates that these costs will almost double by 2030). There will also be big movements of costs between categories (for example the electrification of transport will mean less spent on transport energy but more on electricity). There will be overall issues of public acceptability as well as distributional effects.
IGov 23rd Nov 2017 read more »