Energy Policy Group

Featured news and events


May - Richard Lowes and Bridget Woodman from the EPG recently ran a conference/workshop linked to the UKERC Heat, Incumbency and Transformations project. Richard’s presentation on the project can be found here

There are also slides from the event for a number of speakers. These are:

Kevin Stickney – Erda Energy | Slides 
Sandy Gataora – Sunamp | Slides
William Humphreys – BEIS | Slides
Christian Engelke - Viessmann | Slides
Phil Hurley - Nibe | Slides
Rachel Mulhall – Energy System Catapult | Slides
Lily Frencham – The Association for Decentralised Energy | Slides
Bethan Winter – Wales and West Utilities | Slides
Dhara Vyas – Citizens Advice | Slides
Jim Watson - UKERC | Slides

May - Rachel Bray, Bridget Woodman and Peter Connor have written a new report entitled ‘Policy and Regulatory Barriers to Local Energy Markets in GB’. Their research analyses barriers to LEMs in general, but also focuses on barriers facing Centrica’s Cornwall LEM project. The working paper can be found here. A blog outlining the scope of the report is also available.

April - University of Exeter Energy Policy Group’s Richard Lowes gave a presentation on Tuesday at the Scottish Renewables Conference of low carbon heat in Glasgow titled: The RHI, what could you do with £23 billion? A blog that Richard wrote for the event can be found here, and the slides here.



August 8th - Following on from a blog on the issue of 'Peak Heat' and it's use by incumbents. Richard Lowes was interviewed by Utility Week magazine regarding the issues in the blog. Richard argues that in 2050, the peakiness of heat demand is likely to have reduced significantly making heat decarbonisation less difficult than is being suggested by the existing gas players. The full article can be read here.

July 3rd – Iain Soutar, together with Claire Hoolohan (Tyndall Centre at the University of Manchester) from the Stepping Up project ran a workshop as part of the BBSRC AD Network’s Early Career Researcher Conference held in Birmingham, 3-4 July. This focused on examining aspects of innovation in anaerobic digestion within the context of broader energy and food systems. 

June 7th – Catherine Mitchell was invited to be panellist at in a discussion around “Climate change – does the 1.5 target make sense?’ taking place at the University of Exeter on 7th June. This took place alongside a meeting of IPCC Lead Authors, hosted by the University of Exeter.  A YouTube recording of the event can be found here

May 26th – Iain Soutar attended a three-day workshop on the Energy-water-climate change nexus in a transitional economy: Sustainability and resilience, taking place in Nanjing, China from 24-26th. The workshop was funded by the British Council, Newton Fund and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Iain presented recent findings emerging from the Stepping Up project on ‘Balancing diversity and coherence in innovation space-making: AD in the water-energy-food nexus’, the slides from which can be found here.

4th May - Joseph Dutton was part of a team of authors behind the report entitled: ‘The EU Referendum and the UK Environment: An expert review’. This was recently recognised with the ‘Insight of the Year’ Award at the ENDS Environmental Impact Awards. See here for the full report.

8th April - On the 6th April, Richard Lowes was interviewed by BBC Radio 4's 'Farming Today' programme on local air quality issues around biomass boilers. The interview can be found here. Following on from this, Richard took part in a discussion around the sustainability of bio-energy for the Radio 4 'Farming Today This Week' programme on the 8th April, which can be found here.


As part of our UKERC phase 3 project 'Heat, Incumbency and Transformations', our workshop on the 18th January in central London heard from speakers including the Committee on Climate Change and BEIS. We had attendees from a wide variety of sectors who, during the break-out workshops, contributed to open discussions around the meaning of incumbency and its importance for a sustainable heat transformation. Presentation slides from the workshop are available here

October 20th - Together with Chatham House (Royal Institute for International Affairs, the EPG hosted a roundtable meeting at Chatham House on Brexit and the energy sector, attended by representatives from DExEU, the HoC Brexit Select Committee, National Grid, CBI, E.On, Centrica, Shell, E3G and the Institute for European Environmental Policy, amongst others. Matthew Lockwood chaired the meeting and Antony Froggatt presented early findings on a project supported by UKERC.

October 13th - Matthew Lockwood participated in an expert panel at an event organised by Green Alliance for a launch of their report on valuing flexibility, held at RIBA, and titled: "Everyone wants smart power but where's the market?". See the following links for more information from Green Alliance and Storify.

July 25th - Joseph Dutton appeared on BBC Radio Cornwall as part of a discussion about a new energy-from-waste incinerator in Cornwall. The interview is available here, from around 36 minutes in.

July 14th - The EPG's Bridget Woodman is part of a wider team of researchers from the University of Exeter who have won a €1.3M share in a €10M INTERREG grant which brings together UK and French researchers and industry. Intelligent Community Energy (ICE) will look at the challenges of developing and applying a smart grid approach to create a reliable and robust electricity supply using 100% renewables, while minimising cost and taking into account local supply and demand as well as the wishes of local people. The project will look primarily at the integration of a 1MW tidal device on an off grid French island, to address both the specifics of the island and to develop a methodological approach to assessing community electricity needs elsewhere. This method will then be tested at a UK university campus. The overall project lead is Bretagne Développement Innovation, with other UK partners including the University of Plymouth and the University of East Anglia. More information can be found here.

June 5th - The EPG has a fully funded 3.5 year PhD on 'Disinvestment and Death Spirals - Governance Issues for Future Energy Systems', which is part of the Innovation and Governance for Future Energy Systems project (IGov2). This is an extension of a 4 year Innovation and Governance for a Sustainable, Secure and Affordable Energy System project (IGov, The studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of £14,296 for 3.5 years.  The student would be based in the EPG in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences at the Cornwall Campus of the University of Exeter in Penryn. The full Project Description and information about applying can be found here.

May 19th - Joseph Dutton was a discussant at the recent conference on ‘Towards a common European energy policy? Perceptions of energy security’, held at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. An agenda can be found here.

May 17th - The EPG, together with Chatham House hosted a workshop on EU Energy Policy and Governance, held in Brussels. An agenda can be found here.

May 10th - Professor Ben Sovacool from the University of Sussex gave a presentation to the University of Exeter on 'Contestation and contingency in the Nordic low-carbon energy transition'. A PDF of the presentation is available here

Abstract: The five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden have aggressive climate and energy policies in place and have already emerged to be leaders in renewable energy. Denmark is renowned for its pioneering use of wind energy, Finland and Sweden bioenergy, Norway hydroelectricity and Iceland geothermal.  This presentation investigates the technological and policy pathways necessary for these five countries to achieve their low carbon goals. It argues that a concerted effort must be made to (1) promote renewable forms of electricity including bioenergy, wind energy, hydroelectricity, geothermal and solar; (2) shift to more sustainable forms of transport such as electric vehicles and biofuel; (3) further improve the energy efficiency of buildings; and (4) adopt carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies for industry. It concludes with implications for what such transition pathways mean for both energy researchers and energy planners.

May 3rd - Richard Lowes contributed to a new publication for the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology on the Carbon Footprint of Heat Generation. See here for a Summary and for a PDF of the POSTnote.  

May 25th - Matthew Lockwood is an invited speaker in the forthcoming panel discussion on implications of the EU Referendum on the UK's energy system. In vs Out: An Energy Perspective is co-organised by UKERC, the UCL European Institute for Sustainable Resources, and the UCL European Institute under its Britain and Europe Series. See here for more information and to register to attend.

May 18th - Matthew Lockwood is a speaker in the forthcoming event ‘Policy Challenges and Research Contributions’, which is the sixth in the ESRC-funded ‘Green Innovation: Making it work’ Seminar Series. The agenda for the day can be found here.

Feb 29th - The EPG, in collaboration with Chatham House, organised a meeting on 'EU-UK interdependencies and conflicts', with presentations from Claude Turmes MEP, Kirsty Hamilton (Chatham House) and Martin Nesbit (IEEP). See here for agenda.

Feb 24th - Prof Catherine Mitchell and the EPG are partners in a new Horizon 2020 project: Sustainable Integrated Management FOR the NEXUS of water-land-food-energy-climate for a resource-efficient Europe (SIM4NEXUS). Find out more here.

Feb 22nd - Prof Catherine Mitchell is a Co-I in a new project 'FutureGas', led by DTU and funded by the Danish Government Minstry of Higher Education and Science. The four-year project will engage with key stakeholders from the Danish gas industry to develop a better understanding of the role of gas in a low carbon future in Denmark. See here for the full press release (in Danish). 


December - The EPG has two EPSRC funded PhD opportunities in energy storage and future power markets. See links for further information.

Nov 12thGlobal Conversation: Climate Change – New York, USA

Oct 16thCode Governance for the 21st Century - London

Jul 15th - Renewables: How far can we go - ECIU event

Jul 2ndEnergy and Communities seminar - find out more and book your place.

June - Prof Catherine Mitchell has become the chair of the US based Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)

Mar 27th - Safeguarding the UK’s water, energy and food resources. We are pleased to be a partner in STEPPING UP, a new EPSRC funded project examining the need for a step-change to put the UK on a sustainable Water-Energy-Food pathway

Mar 20th – We are collaborating with UKERC, Chatham House and Canterbury Christ Church University on 'Deconstructing the European Energy Union: the Role of Governance and the 2030 Goals'. You can view the workshop agenda and find out more on the Energy and Governance Research Group’s website.

Mar 16th & 17th – We are pleased to be supporting the Cornwall Energy Island event being held at the Eden Project. There is more info about the event at the Eden website

February - Our new Palgrave Pivot series on Progressive Energy Policy has been launched - find out more and apply to write a pivot here

January - New European project begins: Auctions for Renewable Energy Support: Effective use and efficient implementation options

January - UKERC Phase III project on the politics of UK and European energy policy interactions launched


June - A summary of the WGIII presentations from Transformational Climate Science conference are now availble

May - Progressive Energy Governance Conference - website

May 15/16th - The Transformational Climate Science conference, University of Exeter

April 24th - you can now book free places at our Progressive Energy Governance conference - more info here

April - Progressive Energy Governance - our next IGov conference will be in May 2014, more news and booking options available soon!

March 25th - Robert Sansom - video and presentation on Challenges of decarbonising space and water heating for a low carbon future now on our You Tube Channel

March 18th - EPG Associate David Porter and Prof. Catherine Mitchell will be talking about: The development of Energy Policy from Vesting to the Electricity Market Reform – The Winding Road.

Coming up next in our seminar series - James Aldridge from IPPR (11/3) and Robert Samson from Imperial (25/3).

Our spring 2014 seminar series has been announced


Our latest news update covering Nov/Dec 2013 is now available

Nov 15th – a summary of our recent work is now

Oct 30th – Presentations from the recent Cornwall Community Event are now

October 15th – A summary of the activity and outputs of the EPG for Sept 2013 is now available

Sept 13th – Our new edited book on energy security is now

Aug 1st - We have two fully funded PhDs going – the first on European Energy Policy to 2030 and a second on increasing the sustainability of the UK Gas Network. Get in touch for further info.

July - Congratulations to Jimmy Aldridge for collecting the first EPG PhD!

Jul 5th – the EPG now has a YouTube Channel -

Apr 30th – IGov Workshop 1: Theorising Governance Change for a Sustainable Economy, Royal Society London. Presentations available from

Mar 14th – we have a new EPG energy policy blog, find out more from

Mar 7th – we are running a special edition in Applied Energy on Sustainable Supply Chains and Energy Security

January – Call for Abstracts: Theorising Governance Change for a Sustainable Economy


Nov 14th - Chatham House - African Energy and UK Energy Security

Dec 12thESMW end of research conference, Royal Society London

Dec 6th - Securing Our Energy Future, The Eden Project St Austell

Oct 3rd - Energising and Empowering Communities Through Collaborative Research

Jun 27th - Major changes critical for Energy Bill and Green Deal to succeed

Jun 19th - Written evidence in support of Catherine Mitchell’s Oral Evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee Inquiry into the Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the Draft Energy Bill, 10 am, 19 June 2012

May 10-11th - New Energy Security Challenges - Early Career Researchers Workshop

Apr 26th - Resilience and society: Energy infrastructure

Feb 28thThe Global Gas Challenge: Implications for the UK


October - EU-UK Energy Security: Perceptions and Realities

May - Falmouth Energy Week 2011

March - Energy Policy Group response to the Electricity Market Reform Consultation

February - ESMW co-sponsoring Prospective Energy Transitions workshop

February - ESMW co-sponsoring Electricity Market Reform workshop



May - UK’s leading energy experts gather in Falmouth


June - Falmouth Energy Week: Exeter chairs major energy conference

April - Energy security to be addressed by leading UK researchers