Energy beyond the crisis: how can markets deliver an affordable transition?

How can market mechanisms best help deliver a new energy system?

Ten years ago the UK set out to reform its electricity market, using a variety of market and other mechanisms to deliver competing objectives of security, affordability and decarbonisation. The reform has had notable successes, such as delivering significant new renewable generation, but our goals have changed and meanwhile decentralization and digitalization present new challenges and opportunities.

Electricity is just a part of the energy transition. The problem of gas and decarbonising heat has become more pressing – and this year, consumers face the biggest energy price shock since the 1970s. As we enter a testing winter for customers – and for the energy industry – it is time to consider the short-term shock we are facing now, and how the current crisis will affect our long term plans for an energy transition.

In BIEE’s biennial policy conference we’ll be asking key questions about how our energy system should evolve and what role markets can play.

The UK generally seeks market-based solutions to deliver policy objectives, but as energy becomes more interconnected with other sectors, such as mobility or carbon, where do they work best? How can they provide the outcomes consumers want? What risks will they face? Are there better alternatives outside the market?

A decade after the suite of measures that constituted the UK’s Electricity Market Reform changed everything – except the wholesale market – how much of it is still fit for purpose? And what can we learn from the electricity experience when designing other markets?

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22 September 2022