Professor Catherine Mitchell
Professor of Energy Policy
Catherine Mitchell is Professor of Energy Policy at Exeter University, having worked on energy issues since the early 1980s. She has worked previously as an academic in the Centre for Management Under Regulation at the Warwick Business School, University of Warwick (2000-2007); the Energy Group of the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex (1990-2000); and the Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley (1999). Prior to that she was a journalist writing about oil and gas issues (1982-6).
Her undergraduate degree is History (London); her Masters was in Energy and Environmental Studies within the Geography Department of Boston University (USA); and her PhD is in the field of Technology and Innovation from the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex.
She was a Lead Author (LA) in the IPCC Working Group 3’s Fifth Assessment report (AR5) and a coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of the Policy, Financing & Implementation Chapter of the IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change) Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation 2008-2011.She also was a Lead Analyst of sub-Chapter 13 (Policy) of Chapter 11 (Renewable Energy) of the Global Energy Assessment undertaken through the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) 2008-2010; She is currently an EPSRC Established Career Fellow leading a 4 year project on Innovation, Governance and Affordability for a Sustainable and Secure Economy (IGov). She is Chair of the Regulatory Assistance Project – a US based non-profit organisation that provides regulatory advice to Governments; and on the Advisory Board of the GB based Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU). She has also advised numerous national and international companies, NGOs and institutions on various aspects of the transition to a sustainable energy system.
Membership and Advisory Positions:
- Member, Advisory Board of I-REMB – Innovative rem-making of markets and business models in a renewable energy system based on wind power (a Danish funded project with PI Peter Karnoe), 2016 onwards.
- Member, Nature Energy Editorial Advisory Panel in Social Science and Policy 2015 onwards
- Advisory Board Member of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. London
- Chair of The Regulatory Assistance Project, Montpelier, Vermont
- Advisory Group Member of Smart Energy for Europe Platform, examining the post-2020 framework for investments in renewable generation in Europe
- Lead Author of Chapter 15 National and Sub-National Policies and Institutions of the IPCC’s WG3 AR5 Report on Mitigation of Climate Change, published 2014
- Co-ordinating Lead Author of the Policy, Financing & Implementation Chapter of the IPCC (Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change) Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation, published 2011
- Lead Analyst of sub-Chapter 13 (Policy) of Chapter 11 (Renewable Energy) of the Global Energy Assessment undertaken through the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), published 2012
- Responsible for policy and regulation in supply theme, UK Energy Research Centre Phase 1 and 2 ( 2004-2009, 2009-2014)
- Chairperson of the BIEE (2010); Vice Chair (2009)
- Member of Balancing & Settlement Code Panel, 2008 - 2010
- Principle Investigator, Energy Security in a Multi-Polar World 2008-2012 (Interdisciplinary research cluster involving energy policy, international relations and supply chain analysis to analyse the various temporal and dimensional aspects of energy security)
- Member of Advisory Board for BRITE (Bristol Technologies for the Environment) until 2008
- Member of the IPCC scoping meeting on Renewable Energy Sources, January 2008, Germany
- Strategy Advisor to the IEA Renewable Energy Technology Deployment Integrating Agreement, 2007
- International Advisor to New Zealand Government Energy Review, October 2006-March 2007
- Member, Advisory Board for Sustainable Development Commission Inquiry into Ofgem, the Energy Regulator, 2006-2007
- Principle Investigator, Policy and Regulatory Resource for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Project (a Public-Private partnership, launched by the United Kingdom along with other partners at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in August 2002)
- Member, Scientific Advisory Panel, Towards a Sustainable Energy Future, Research Councils UK, 2003-2006
- Member, Scientific Advisory Panel of the Centre for Analysis of Society and Environment at Risoe National Laboratory, Denmark, 2003-2006
- Chairperson, 2003, GB Renewable Energy Planning Panel (report published November 2003)
- Member, UK Government’s Energy Advisory Panel, 1998-2003, two terms
- Member, Performance and Innovation Unit Energy Review Team, Cabinet Office, 2001-2 and Member, Resource Productivity Team, Cabinet Office, 2001
Broad research specialisms:
Catherine’s research interest is how to undertake the transition from the current ‘dirty’ energy system to a sustainable energy system, at a rate which is quick enough to make a difference to the planetary imperative of climate change and which maintains energy security. She views this question as a system issue. This requires addressing all the issues which make up a system such as policy (and politics), institutions (including economic regulation), infrastructure, economics, innovation, law and planning. She is interested in what enables, constrains or channels energy system innovation at a local, regional, national and international level. She is interested in how technology is enabling a speeding up of change in certain jurisdictions, and why that is. She is also interested in the overlapping spheres of energy (including transport), waste resources and food policy and how energy policy fits within the broader climate change policy
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University of Exeter