Richard Hoggett
Research Project Manager

Research

Research interests

Richard is interested in whole systems approaches to creating a sustainable, secure and affordable energy system. Specific interests include: the role of people and communities within the energy system; innovation; governance; energy security; demand response and smart grids; supply chain and value chain analysis; UK and EU renewable energy policy.

Research projects

IGov: Innovation and Governance 

Richard is the Research Manager for IGov, an EPSRC funded Established Career Fellowship Award held by Prof. Catherine Mitchell. The project comprised two phases: IGov 1 (2012-2016) and IGov 2 (2016-2019).

IGov 2: Innovation and Governance for Future Energy Systems

IGov argues that the GB energy system effectively runs along two streams: the conventional ‘old’ energy system and the ‘new’ entrants and non-traditional practices which are occurring around the edges of the conventional systems. Within IGov 2, we are focusing on energy system change that is happening at the moment and the different dimensions of that change, such as: business models; technology; markets; networks; ownership; the role of people; political systems; system operation; economics; social preferences, etc. We will seek to better understand the reasons for some of the changes that are occurring, the political economy context in which they are happening, and how actors across the whole energy system are reacting and adapting to this change. We want to understand the governance needs of the ‘new’ system and its actors and what the opportunities are to capture these benefits within GB.

This will include research within the UK and look at what is happening in terms of energy and governance in other countries – specifically some US states, Australia, Denmark, Germany and Portugal, whilst monitoring significant changes elsewhere in the globe. Within this work we are interested in: whether tipping points have occurred and how they have manifested themselves; how different places have managed disruption; how ‘new’ actors / entrants exist/develop, and the ways in which they (and innovation) are encouraged (or not), and the impacts of that elsewhere in the system, on costs, for business models etc.

The research is split into four work programmes, examining: The nature of change; what are the responses to change; contextualising and understanding change; and policy recommendations – see below. Within this we will be considering governance from a new perspective in terms of who wants to innovate and how incumbents are responding. We will continue to focus on the demand side in relation to demand reduction, demand side response and distributed energy resources, framed by the growing urgency for taking a whole system approach to transforming the energy system.

 

IGov 1: Innovation, Governance and Affordability for a Sustainable Secure Economy

Within IGov 1 we showed that the governance arrangements that are in place shape the design and implementation of regulations, markets and institutions. As such, in its widest sense, the governance framework is what ultimately shapes the way in which actors make money within the energy system, and it influences which actors, technologies and approaches are encouraged, undermined or excluded. Getting the governance system right is therefore a key aspect in enabling an effective energy transformation as it plays a central role in the technical, economic and social changes that occur.

An issue that became clear within the research is that whilst technology development and deployment races ahead, both infrastructure and regulation are lagging behind. This lag can slow down and undermine the low carbon transformation and increase its costs. IGov 1 argued that the current governance framework has slowed change in GB and continues to do so. Much of the value is still going to the ‘old’ system, in terms of existing technologies, system operation and actors. Also that there is a gap between rhetoric and practice, with energy policy often taking one step forward and two steps back in terms of move towards a sustainable, secure and affordable energy system.

Group

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