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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number111815
JournalEnergy Policy
Early online date1 Sep 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sep 2020


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.

    Research areas

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

ID: 161086551