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Journal articleHannon M, 2015,
The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) updated abatement scenario for the UK’s fourth carbon budget reserves a central role for heat pumps to decarbonise its buildings sector by 2030. However, the UK has one of the least developed heat pump markets in Europe and renewable heat output from heat pumps will need to increase by a factor of 50 over the next 15 years to be in line with the scenario. Therefore, this paper explores what lessons the UK might learn from Finland to achieve this aim considering that its current level of heat pump penetration is comparable with that outlined in the CCC scenario for 2030. Despite the two countries’ characteristic differences we argue they share sufficient similarities for the UK to usefully draw some policy-based lessons from Finland including: stimulating new-build construction and renovation of existing stock; incorporating renewable heat solutions in building energy performance standards; and bringing the cost of heat pumps in-line with gas fired heating via a combination of subsidies, taxes and energy RD&D. Finally, preliminary efforts to grow the heat pump market could usefully focus on properties unconnected to the gas-grid, considering these are typically heated by relatively expensive oil or electric heating technologies.
Conference paperHannon M, Skea J, Rhodes A, 2014,
Innovation in the energy sector: advancing or frustrating climate policy goals?, 10th British Institute of Energy Economics Academic Conference
The energy sector is well known for the relatively modest level of resource that it devotes to research and development (R&D). However, the incremental pace of energy innovation has speeded up in the last decade as measured by public sector R&D budgets, deployment of alternative technologies and novel institutional arrangements. While much of this effort has been targeted at technologies that promise to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, there have also been major innovations that extend the fossil fuel resource base and reduce the cost of extraction. The last decade’s developments can be seen in terms of a challenge to the existing energy paradigm in parallel with a renewed innovative response focusing on conventional fuels and technologies. This paper examines this tension, by exploring the expectations of a variety of organisations in both the public and private sector regarding energy sector developments and by analysing private sector expenditure on energy research and development (R&D) and public sector budgets for energy R&D and demonstration (RD&D). Scenarios and outlook exercises that have been published since 2013 reveal a wide range of beliefs about the future development of the energy system. The contrasting views underpinning the different scenarios are reflected in divergent patterns of R&D investment between the private and public sectors. There appears to be a tension between the drive to transform energy systems, on the part of public bodies, mainly motivated by the need to combat global climate change, and private sector activity, which tends to reinforce and extend existing patterns of energy provision. The paper addresses, but not answer definitively, the key question as to whether technological change is enabling or frustrating ambitious carbon goals.
Journal articleRhodes A, Skea J, Hannon M, 2014,
Policymakers are seeking a transformation of the energy system driven by concerns about climate change, energy security and affordability. At the same time, emerging developments in underpinning science and engineering are opening up new possibilities across the whole technology spectrum covering renewables and other supply side technologies, energy demand and energy infrastructure. This paper reviews both the “policy pull” for energy innovation activities and the “science and technology push”. It explores the expectations of a variety of organisations in both the public and private sector regarding these pressures and possibilities by assessing various scenarios and outlook exercises that have been published since 2013. It reveals a wide range of beliefs about the future development of the energy system. The paper then moves on to analyse private sector expenditure on energy research and development (R&D) and public sector budgets for energy R&D and demonstration (RD&D). This analysis demonstrates significant divergences in patterns of innovation between the private and public sectors and leads to the hypothesis that the private sector is, broadly, taking measures to reinforce the existing energy paradigm while the public sector is focusing on new energy technologies that support wider policy objectives. This pattern is consistent with past technological transitions, with innovation efforts that would transform the energy system being counteracted by countervailing efforts that reinforce the existing fossil fuel-based paradigm.
Conference paperHannon M, Skea J, Rhodes A, 2014,
Facilitating and coordinating UK energy innovation through systemic innovation intermediaries, 5th International Conference on Sustainability Transitions
Journal articleHannon M, Skea J, 2014,
ReportSkea J, Hannon M, 2014,
Investing in energy innovation - towards a more effective RD&D landscape, Publisher: Energy World
Journal articleSkea J, 2014,
ReportSkea J, Hannon MJ, Rhodes A, 2013,
Investing in a brighter energy future: Energy research and training prospectus
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