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Transition pathways for a low carbon electricity system in the UK: Key findings and policy messages

Foxon, Timothy J., Hammond, Geoffrey P., Leach, Matthew and Pearson, Peter J. G. 2012. Transition pathways for a low carbon electricity system in the UK: Key findings and policy messages. Presented at: 9th BIEE Academic Conference, St Johns College, Oxford, UK, 19-20 September 2012.

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This paper describes the key findings and policy messages from an inter-disciplinary project developing and analysing transition pathways for a UK low carbon electricity system in the UK to 2050. The project is a collaboration between leading UK engineers, social scientists and policy analysts, supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the energy company E.ON. Three core transition pathways explore alternative future pathways for the evolution of the UK electricity system under different governance arrangements, dominated by market, government and civil society logics respectively. The paper outlines these three core transition pathways, and briefly summarises insights from demand side, supply side, and whole systems appraisal analyses of the pathways. The pathways demonstrate that governance and regulatory frameworks will have a significant influence on the mix of low carbon generation options, the level of future energy service demands (including additional demand from electrification of heating and transport services) and mix of centralized and distributed generation. The paper also highlights the significant challenges facing market actors, energy users, social movements and policy-makers in realizing any of these pathways. The adoption of low-carbon generation and energy efficiency technologies will depend on changes to market and regulatory frameworks, to strategies of large and small firms, to practices of how households and businesses use energy. How these changes interact or ‘co-evolve’ will determine the nature of the pathway and the risks in realising it. Finally, the paper summarises how analysis of and reflection on these pathways could help to inform decision-making by government, firms and wider society on steps needed to realise a transition to a low carbon electricity future.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
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Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:49

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