Early this week I blogged on local energy, multi-level change, and governance reflecting on some thinking from a recent event from the Westminster Energy, Environment and Transport Forum. This second blog builds on these ideas to put forward the clear case for multi-level coordination and governance in the energy revolution. Its reflects some of my thoughts from an event last week at the Energy Systems Catapult on Transforming places through clean growth. In common with many other countries, the UK is seeing a period of rapid and fundamental change in its energy system, a revolution based on efficiently and intelligently linking supply, demand, heating and transport. The Government’s hope is that these transformations will lead to cleaner and cheaper energy for end users and the economy as a whole, help to meet targets for clean air and the Climate Change Act, whilst supporting job creation and economic growth. The drivers of this change are well recognised, if not fully understood in terms of the implications and interactions they will bring across heat, power and transport. They include the digital revolution within the energy sector, along with rapidly falling costs for renewable energy generating technologies, as well as storage and electric vehicles, and new technologies at the grid edge. At the moment at least, these drivers are pushing in the same direction to open up a wide range of new opportunities for creating a low carbon energy system. The Energy Policy Group along with many other commentators describe these changes in terms of a system based on the 4Ds: decarbonisation (and the need to deliver the carbon budgets); decentralisation (reflecting the clear shift towards a more decentralised system); digitisation (opening up new ways to design and operate the system across all levels); and democratisation (with consumers, prosumers, communities having a greater role and say in the energy future). While much of the change to date is happening in the electricity system, sorting out heat and transport will also increasingly reflect these drivers and the shift towards a 4D system. Against this backdrop there is a growing interest and emergence of policy support for the role of local energy within the energy transition. This includes the Green Growth Strategy, a pillar within the Industrial Strategy on the role of place and the inclusion of clean growth and future Grand Challenges.
IGov 27th June 2018 read more »