Showing posts from September, 2018

Finance, Tariff and Reform

Green Finance, the Export Tariff, and Reform of Power System Governance
In May, the Commons Environmental Audit Committee said that falling investment in renewable energy projects over the last two years threatens Britain’s ability to meet its legally binding carbon targets. The 6th report of the Commons Select Committee on Environmental Audit, published 16 May 2018, is entitled “Green finance: mobilising investment in clean energy and sustainable development”. In its summary, it notes that despite achievements in some areas “there are worrying signs that investment may have stalled in the last two years,” threatening the UK’s ability to meet its fourth (2023–2027) and fifth (2028–2032) carbon budgets … “Recent figures show that clean energy investment has fallen dramatically since 2015. In cash terms it fell by 10% in 2016 and by a further 56% in 2017. Annual clean energy investment in the UK is now the lowest it has been since 2008 and the rate at which we are installing new renewable…

Energy transitions in a divided world: abstracts

The abstract book from the Fourth Energy and Society Conference ‘Energy transitions in a divided world’ held on 3 – 5 September 2018, at the University of Exeter, UK, can now be downloaded from along with the conference programme.

Peak emissions in C40 Cities

An article in Engineering and Technology magazine reports that the greenhouse gas emissions from 27 major cities around the world have peaked despite growing populations and economies.
The cities are: Barcelona, Basel, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Montréal, New Orleans, New York City, Oslo, Paris, Philadelphia, Portland, Rome, San Francisco, Stockholm, Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, Warsaw, and Washington D.C.
All are members of C40, which set three principal criteria for inclusion in the list:
1 The emissions reached a maximum level at least 5 years before the most recently recorded year, in order to eliminate short-term fluctuations. 2 The peak level emissions are at least 10 per cent higher than the most recent inventory year. Again, this is to eliminate “false” peaks due to short-term fluctuations. 3 The city has made a public commitment to deliver further emission reductions.
Full details are available at the C40 sites:

Informing UK Energy Policy

A workshop at the recent Energy and Society Conference at Exeter University was entitled “Beyond Academia”, and one of its themes was the problem of communication with policy makers.Many of the participants were researchers, and there was a concern that research findings felt to be relevant to the shaping of policy were in practice ignored. Since the issue of policy was also a factor in the post of 11 Sept. on Ofgem’s consultation, some papers on policy will be referred to here.
The British Ecological Society (BES), offers three short papers on policy, available at
“An Introduction to Policy” (2017), BES, provides an overview of the UK political system, policies and their origins, primary and secondary legislation, and offers a case study.
“How does science inform the UK Parliament?” (2017), BES, describes the structure of the UK parliament, and how science can inform its work. There are sections on Sel…

Network Access Consultation July 2018

A response to Ofgem’s Network Access Consultation of July 2018
Ofgem published in July a paper on reform of access to the UK electricity network, and charging for its use (1). (Earlier posts: 27th July and 6th August).The paper called for detailed responses to a list of questions. The following is part of a submission addressing more generally the issues involved. It begins with comments from two members of the Regen organisation, Poppy Maltby and Merlin Hyman: ‘Poppy Maltby said that “A key limitation of Ofgem’s approach is that it focuses just on efficient use of the network. There is no objective in this work around decarbonisation and clean growth...” (2). Merlin Hyman wrote that “Ofgem’s focus is on efficient use of the network to minimise customer bills. Sensible enough in itself but rather a narrow goal.” (3). The tension between the goal of decarbonisation and that of protecting vulnerable consumers is the focus of this paper, which takes the viewpoint of community energy. Whi…

4th Energy and Society Conference

The 4th Energy and Society Conference was held at the University of Exeter on the 3rd-5th September. 
This was an international and interdisciplinary event, and its scope is indicated by the program headings: Public Engagement; Justice and Vulnerability; Theory, Concepts and Methods; Politics and Governance; Dynamics of Demand; and Locality, Energy and Community.
Apart from plenary sessions, events ran in parallel, and were of two kinds, presentations of papers, and workshops. A few examples of event titles will indicate the range of topics: ‘Citizens’ views on the future transition towards decentralized renewable energy’; ‘The impact of Energy Policies and Measures on Energy Poverty in the Mediterranean Countries’; ‘Plug into your energy: energy platforms and the future of the decentralized grid’; ‘Energy transition between climate protection, profit orientation and regional interests’; ‘What would you do to keep the lights on in your community?’; ‘Putting shared ownership of renewabl…