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Dr Jessica Britton

Dr Jessica Britton

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

 Stella Turk Building G2.28

 

University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, TR10 9FE

Overview

Jess is an interdisciplinary social scientist interested in the policy and practices of energy system change, particularly in relation to low carbon innovation at the local level, the role of city and regional actors, new business models and devolution. I’m currently an ESRC postdoctoral fellow researching how governance structures may need to be rescaled to better co-ordinate more decentralised energy systems.

From 2017- 2019 I was part of the IGov project (Innovation and Governance for future energy systems). This project examined the level, type and speed of energy system change within GB and internationally, how existing and new energy system actors are responding, and how this is shaping future energy systems. The free MOOC we produced as part of the IGov project, ‘Transforming energy systems – why governance matters’, is still available and explores the role of governance in enabling profound and rapid energy system transformation.

Past projects have included Energy Security in a Multipolar World research cluster (ESMW) and leading a UK Energy Research Centre funded project evaluating gender balance in the UK energy research portfolio. This project evaluated the representation and experiences of women in UK energy research, with the final report proposing 30 recommendations to improve gender balance in energy research.

My PhD examined the development of heat networks in the UK and Germany with particular focus on the role of municipal utilities. The research explored the integration of heat networks into the energy system and models of city-scale energy provision and ownership. More broadly the research focussed on the interaction of different actors, institutions and governance in urban energy infrastructure in order to better understand scale in socio-technical transitions.

At Exeter, I’m a member of the Energy Policy Group and the Environment and Sustainability Research Group. I teach across a range of sustainability, energy and politics modules and am interested in supervising PhD students in the area of urban and regional energy transitions.

Office hours: please drop me an email to arrange a time.

Broad research specialisms:

Energy policy; socio-technical transitions; low carbon heat; local governance; devolution; urban studies and smart cities

Publications:

Journal papers and Book Chapters

  • Britton, J., Minas, A. M., Marques, A. C., & Pourmirza, Z. (2021). Exploring the potential of heat as a service in decarbonization: Evidence needs and research gaps. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/15567249.2021.1873460
  • Britton, J. (2021) Smart meter data and equitable energy transitions – can cities play a role? In Evans, J.; Karvonen, A.; Martin, C.; Luque-Ayala, A.; McCormick, K.; Raven, R.; Voytenko Palgan, Y (eds.) Smart and Sustainable Cities? Pipedreams, Practicalities and Possibilities. Routledge.
  • Kuzemko C and Britton J (2020) Policy, politics and materiality across scales: A framework for understanding local government sustainable energy capacity applied in England, Energy Research and Social Science, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2019.101367
  • Judson E, Fitch-Roy O, Pownall T, Bray R, Lowes R, Connor P M, Britton J, Woodman B, Mitchell C (2020) ‘The centre cannot (always) hold: Examining pathways towards energy system de-centralisation’, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 118, doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2019.109499.
  • Britton, J (2018) Localising energy: heat networks and municipal governance in Goldthau, A., Keating M and Kuzemko, C (eds.) Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.
  • Britton, J (2017) Smart meter data and equitable energy transitions – can cities play a role? Local Environment (online) www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13549839.2017.1383372
  • Connor P M, Xie L, Lowes R, Britton J, Richardson T (2015) ‘The development of renewable heating policy in the United Kingdom’, Renewable Energy 75:733-744.
  • Britton J and Woodman B (2014) Local Enterprise Partnerships and the low-carbon economy: Front runners, uncertainty and divergence, Local Economy 29: 617-634
  • Mitchell C; Watson, J and Britton J (eds) (2013) New Challenges in Energy Security: The UK in a Multipolar World, Palgrave Macmillian.
  • Soutar I and Britton J (2013). Energy Security Policy in Britain: Markets, Complexity and Challenges. In Mitchell, C.; Watson, J. and Britton, J. (eds.) New Challenges in Energy Security: The UK in a Multipolar World, Palgrave Macmillian.

 

Policy documents and other publications

  • Britton, J (2020) Decarbonisation: Principles for change. Heating and Cooling special issue. November 2020. Energy World. Energy Institute (subscription required).
  • Britton, J; Smith, J and Cieszewska, B (2019) Power Shift: How to build Gender Balance in the Energy Research Portfolio. Research Report for the UK Energy Research Centre
  • Willis, R; Mitchell, C; Hoggett, R; Britton, J; Poulter, H, Pownall, T; Lowes R (2019) Getting energy governance right: Lessons from IGov, IGov project
  • Willis, R; Mitchell, C; Hoggett, R; Britton, J (2019) Enabling the transformation of the energy system: Recommendations from IGov, IGov project.
  • Britton, J; Hardy, J; Mitchell C and Hoggett, R (2019) Changing actor dynamics and emerging value propositions in the UK electricity retail market, IGov report, University of Exeter.
  • Mitchell, C; Willis, R; Hoggett, R; Lowes, R; Bray, R; Poulter H and Britton, J. (2019) Submission to Ofgem RIIO-2 sector specific methodology consultation, Ofgem Consultation
  • Mitchell, C; Hoggett, R; Willis, R and Britton, J (2019) Submission to Ofgem Targeted Charging Review: minded to decision and draft impact assessment, Ofgem consultation
  • Mitchell C; Poulter H; Lockwood M; Woodman B; Bray R; Lowes R; Britton J and Hoggett R (2018) Submission: BEIS Call for Evidence on the Helm Review
  • Britton, J; Hoggett, R; Mitchell, C and Lockwood, M (2018) Governing for a decentralised and decarbonised energy system, Institute for Public Policy Research, ‘A distributed energy future for the UK: An essay collection’. London: IPPR.
  • Britton, J (2018) Bristol Method Module: Setting up a municipal supply company. Bristol: Bristol Green Capital Project.
  • Britton, J (2017) Bristol Method module: How to use Heat Networks to lower the carbon footprint of a city. Bristol: Bristol Green Capital Project.
  • Britton, J (2016) Smart Meter Data and Public Interest Issues – The Sub-National Perspective. TEDDINET, CSE and Sustainability First.
  • Lowes R; Woodman B and Britton J (2016) EPG response to the Energy and Climate Committee's 2020 renewable heat and transport targets inquiry: Written evidence
  • Lowes R; Woodman B and Britton J (2016) EPG response to the DECC consultation: The Renewable Heat Incentive - A reformed and refocussed scheme, Department of Energy and Climate Change
  • Ofgem (2015) Non-traditional business models: Supporting transformative change in the energy market. London: Office of Gas and Electricity Markets
  • Ofgem (2015) License Lite Operating Guidance. London: Office of Gas and Electricity Markets
  • Kuzemko, C; Britton, J; Soutar, I and Woodman, B (2015) Written response: Inquiry into 'A smarter energy future for Wales', National Assembly for Wales
  • Kuzemko C; Britton J; Hoggett R; Mitchell C; Soutar I; Steward T (2015) Ofgem Consultation Response: NTBMs: Supporting transformative change in the energy market, Ofgem
  • Lowes R; Britton J; Kuzemko C; Lockwood M; Mitchell C; Steward T; Woodman B (2014) Response to Fuelling the debate: ECC successes and future challenges, Energy & Climate Change Committee

 

Blogs

  • Papajak, U and Britton, J (2020) Local government innovation in the energy sector, Florence School of Regulation, https://fsr.eui.eu/local-government-innovation-in-the-energy-sector/

  • Britton, J & Kuzemko, C. (2020) Local Authorities and Sustainable Energy: Decentralisation & Capacity Building, EPG blog, University of Exeter

  • Britton, J (2019) Governance for local energy transformations, IGov blog, University of Exeter

  • Cieszewska, B; Britton, J and Smith J (2019) How to build gender balance in the energy research portfolio – we need a power shift. EPG blog, University of Exeter.

  • Britton, J (2018) The changing role of cities and local energy – does energy system governance need to catch up? IGov Blog, University of Exeter

  • Britton, J (2018) Will the EV future be diverted by a charging let-down? IGov blog, University of Exeter

Qualifications

PhD Environment, Energy and Resilience

MRes Environment, Energy and Resilience

MSc Energy Policy

BSc Environmental Biology and Geography

Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) Associate

Higher Education Academy, Associate Fellow

Research group links

Research

Research grants

  • 2019 ESRC
    Re-scaling governance for decarbonisation: co-ordinating decentralised energy systems. This ESRC Post-doctoral Fellowship is examining how the role of local actors in energy systems is changing (with a focus on the UK), the extent to which current governance, policy and regulatory arrangements support action at the sub-national scale, and how action between local, regional and national governments should be best coordinated.
  • 2018 UK Energy Research Council
    This project analysed gender balance in the UK energy research portfolio, engaged with female energy researchers across career stage regarding their lived experience and reviewed current and potential solutions to improving gender balance in research communities. A report was produced for funders and HE institutions that included 30 recommendations to improve gender balance in higher education. See http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/publications/power-shift.html.

Links


Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Books

Mitchell C, Watson J, Whiting J, Britton J (2013). New Challenges in Energy Security the UK in a Multipolar World., Springer. Abstract.

Journal articles

Britton J, Minas AM, Marques AC, Pourmirza Z (2021). Exploring the potential of heat as a service in decarbonization: Evidence needs and research gaps. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 1-17.
Kuzemko C, Britton J (2020). Policy, politics and materiality across scales: a framework for understanding local government sustainable energy capacity applied in England. Energy Research & Social Science, 62, 101367-101367.
Judson E, Fitch-Roy O, Pownall T, Bray R, Poulter H, Soutar I, Lowes R, Connor P, Britton J, Woodman B, et al (2019). The centre cannot (always) hold: examining pathways towards energy system de-centralisation. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 118 Abstract.  Full text.
Britton J (2017). Smart meter data and equitable energy transitions – can cities play a role?. Local Environment, 24(7), 595-609. Full text.
Connor PM, Xie L, Lowes R, Britton J, Richardson T (2015). The development of renewable heating policy in the United Kingdom. Renewable Energy, 75(March 2015), 733-744. Full text.
Britton J, Woodman B (2014). Local Enterprise Partnerships and the low-carbon economy: Front runners, uncertainty and divergence. Local Economy: the Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit, 29(6-7), 617-634. Abstract.  Full text.

Chapters

Britton J (2018). Localising Energy: Heat Networks and Municipal Governance. In Kuzemko C, Goldthau A, Keating M (Eds.) Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 369-382.  Abstract.
Britton J, Soutar I (2013). Energy Security Policy in Britain: Markets, Complexity and Challenges. In Mitchell C, Watson J, Britton J (Eds.) New Challenges in Energy Security the UK in a Multipolar World, Palgrave Macmillan, 68-91.  Abstract.

Publications by year


2021

Britton J, Minas AM, Marques AC, Pourmirza Z (2021). Exploring the potential of heat as a service in decarbonization: Evidence needs and research gaps. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 1-17.

2020

Kuzemko C, Britton J (2020). Policy, politics and materiality across scales: a framework for understanding local government sustainable energy capacity applied in England. Energy Research & Social Science, 62, 101367-101367.

2019

Judson E, Fitch-Roy O, Pownall T, Bray R, Poulter H, Soutar I, Lowes R, Connor P, Britton J, Woodman B, et al (2019). The centre cannot (always) hold: examining pathways towards energy system de-centralisation. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 118 Abstract.  Full text.

2018

Britton J (2018). Localising Energy: Heat Networks and Municipal Governance. In Kuzemko C, Goldthau A, Keating M (Eds.) Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing, 369-382.  Abstract.
Britton J (2018). The role of the city-scale in energy transitions: heat networks in England and Germany.  Abstract.  Full text.

2017

Britton J (2017). Smart meter data and equitable energy transitions – can cities play a role?. Local Environment, 24(7), 595-609. Full text.

2015

Connor PM, Xie L, Lowes R, Britton J, Richardson T (2015). The development of renewable heating policy in the United Kingdom. Renewable Energy, 75(March 2015), 733-744. Full text.

2014

Britton J, Woodman B (2014). Local Enterprise Partnerships and the low-carbon economy: Front runners, uncertainty and divergence. Local Economy: the Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit, 29(6-7), 617-634. Abstract.  Full text.

2013

Britton J, Soutar I (2013). Energy Security Policy in Britain: Markets, Complexity and Challenges. In Mitchell C, Watson J, Britton J (Eds.) New Challenges in Energy Security the UK in a Multipolar World, Palgrave Macmillan, 68-91.  Abstract.
Mitchell C, Watson J, Whiting J, Britton J (2013). New Challenges in Energy Security the UK in a Multipolar World., Springer. Abstract.

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