Transitions, disruptions and revolutions: Expert views on prospects for a smart and local energy revolution in the UK Energy Policy

Mark Winskel, Michael Kattirtzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Alongside ambitious targets for economy-wide decarbonisation, a ‘smart and local energy revolution’ narrative has recently emerged in energy policy and research. To consider the energy revolution proposition, this paper presents findings from a Policy Delphi survey of interdisciplinary energy researchers and stakeholders (n=113) on alternative transition paths (disruptive or continuity-led) for the UK energy system. The paper includes quantitative and qualitative survey findings on a number of social and technical aspects of the energy revolution proposition: system governance, security and flexibility arrangements,power sector decarbonisation, the future of large supply firms and energy policy priorities.The results suggest that rather than a wholesale revolution, the UK’s energy transition over the next two decades will involve a mix of disruptive and continuity-led elements. Experts differ on a number of issues associated with the energy revolution proposition, including the impact of demand side response on whole system flexibility, and whether energy systems are best governed at a local or national scale. However, rather than having fixed orientations to either disruption or continuity-led change, most experts respond on an issue-by-issue basis. The energy revolution proposition is socially constructed and contestable, and whole energy systems policy and research should go beyond uniform transition narratives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111815
JournalEnergy Policy
Volume147
Early online date1 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • whole system transition
  • energy revolution
  • disruption
  • smart
  • local
  • Policy Delphi

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