COP26 case studies
Informing energy policy

The challenge trying to be solved

The UK and Scottish Governments want to reduce emissions associated with the use of energy. How does it do this through policy?

How we're engaging with energy policy

Professor Keith Bell is a member of the Climate Change Committee (CCC), the UK’s independent advisor to government on climate change. A number of researchers at Strathclyde are part of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) including Prof Bell who was appointed one of UKERC’s Co-Directors in 2014. UKERC is active on regulatory and policy arrangements to enable local and community energy, the transition to low carbon heat and transport, and the facilitation of investment in low carbon electricity generation capacity and networks.

The Principal of the University of Strathclyde, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, co-Chairs the Scottish Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) along with Scotland’s First Minister. Professor Bell is also a member of SEAB and has advised Britain’s gas and electricity markets regulator, Ofgem, on electricity system issues.

Professor Karen Turner is Director of the Centre for Energy Policy (CEP) at Strathclyde, a centre that has particular expertise in energy and the economy, and was a member of Scotland’s Just Transition Commission that reported in March 2021.

Dr Rebecca Ford is Research Director of the EnergyRev project investigating local energy systems.

Other Strathclyde researchers including Dr James Dixon, Jack Flower, Dr Graeme Hawker and Jonathan Bowes have had secondments to the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and the Scottish Government, working on energy transition policy and advice.

Work has also been done for the Scottish Government through ClimateXChange, for example on whole energy system modelling and electricity security of supply.

Example impacts

Strathclyde researchers working through UKERC have responded to a number of consultations such as on the Energy White Paper published by the UK Government in December 2020 and the setting by Ofgem of budgets and incentives for innovation by energy network companies in the “RIIO-2” process. The CEP contributed to the evidence informing the UK Government’s carbon capture, usages and storage cost change taskforce.

Researchers from  Strathclyde on secondment to government have contributed to BEIS work on smart systems and electric vehicles and whether to mandate new smart appliance standards, and the Scottish Government’s update to the Climate Change Plan and the Heat in Buildings Strategy. Professor Bell conducted key analysis for Ofgem that led to a major change in 2016 to the way the electricity transmission network is paid for, making it cheaper for wind farms to use it.

The future

Continued work with governments includes informing the Scottish Government’s development of heat and hydrogen policies and work on investment in the electricity system for industry actors, UK Government and the industry regulator, Ofgem. Prof Bell continues to be a member of the CCC and of SEAB, and Professor Sir Jim McDonald continues to co-chair SEAB.


Professor Keith Bell

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