Energy Transitions and Futures – Utility 2050+

The Utility 2050 project was a partnership of energy industry professionals, financiers, and academics with a shared objective to explore what Net Zero could mean for the UK energy sector.

We found that there are growing pressures in the retail and wholesale markets caused by the net-zero energy transition. These need a deeper rethink of the business models that make up the energy market and the regulation which supports them.

The energy sector has an ‘innovation dilemma’: It is simultaneously challenged in planning for and regulating the energy market 2-5 years ahead whilst addressing the pressing need to make decisions, in the face of deep uncertainty, aligned with hitting the 2050 net-zero target.

An augmented human-centred design approach of viability, feasibility, desirability; realise-ability; and systemic perspectives was applied. These are detailed below along with additional related work. The Utility 2050 team would like to thank the considerable number of participants who contributed to co-produce this work – to varying degrees of engagement – which likely stands at over 3,500.

 

Systemic perspectives

Hall, S., Cole, D., Workman, M.H.W., Hardy, J., Mazur, C. and Anable, J. 2021
Utility 2050: Regulation, investment and innovation in a rapid energy transition – Summary Paper.

Panel members biographies for launch event on 23rd March 2021

See also ATKINS Micro-site on Engineering Net Zero: https://www.engineeringnetzero.com/

The Role of Radical Energy Futures in Understanding How Regulation Might Evolve.
Presented to Ofgem as part of a Lunchtime seminar series on 5th June 2019,
by Mark Workman and Kate Roelich.

Workman, M.H.W., Hall, S., Hardy, J., Mazur, C., Anable, J., Powell, M. and Marie Wagner, S. 2021. A Third Wave of Energy Innovation? The need for and development of new tools and approaches to explore possible UK energy futures. Forthcoming.

Viability

Financial value available in possible energy system futures

Wegner, S.M., Hall, S., Workman, M.H.W., and Hardy, J., 2017.
Valuing energy futures; A comparative analysis of value pools across energy system scenarios.
Applied Energy.

Hall, S., et al., 2016.
Utility 2050—The Future of Electricity Utilities Project Phase 1: Empirical Report

Daruwala, A., Workman, M.H.W., and Hardy, J., 2021.
Identifying and unlocking value from heat decarbonisation – a UK case study.
Forthcoming.

Feasibility

Technical and regulatory gaps in achieving those energy system futures

Hall, S., et al., 2017.
Utility 2050 – The Future of Electricity Utilities Project Phase 2: Empirical Report

Desirability

How attractive are those services available in possible energy system futures

Hall, S., Anable, J., Hardy, J., Workman, M.H.W., Mazur, C., and Matthews, Y., 2021.
Matching consumer segments to innovative utility business models.
In Nature Energy March 2021: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41560-021-00781-1

Hall, S., Anable, J., Hardy, J., Workman, M.H.W., Mazur, C., and Matthews, Y., 2021.
Innovative energy business models appeal to specific consumer groups but may exacerbate existing inequalities by leaving behind the disengaged.
Forthcoming – Policy Brief in Nature Energy.

Energy Institute 2019, 2020, and 2021.
Energy Barometer.
Utility 2050 have teamed up with The Energy Institute and undertaken a longitudinal assessment of the energy sectors perceptions of consumers’ willingness to adopt new business models in the future energy system. This will form the basis of further research on the perceived and actual likely role of consumers in the energy transition.

Realise-ability

As a function of the regulation in the sector - what needs to change to realise those possible futures

Hall, S., Mazur, C., Hardy, J., Workman, M.H.W., and Powell, M., 2019.
Prioritising business model innovation: What needs to change in the United Kingdom energy system to grow low carbon entrepreneurship?
In Energy Research and Social Science 60 (2020) 101317.

Hall, S., et al., 2017.
Utility 2050 – Decision Theatre Report 1: Present Utilities

Hall, S., et al., 2017.
Utility 2050 – Decision Theatre Report 2: Policy and Regulation

Hall, S., et al., 2017.
Utility 2050 – Decision Theatre Report 3: International Perspectives Europe

Hall, S., et al., 2018.
Utility 2050 – Decision Theatre Report 4: International Perspectives North America

Let's talk about your next project

For inquiries regarding future collaboration please get in contact with Mark.