Flexible Fund announcement #3

28 Jul 2022

We are delighted to announce the details of the latest round of projects awarded via our Flexible Research Fund. This was the third and final call for the fund and focused on three key areas: governance and decision-making: affordability and gas market volatility; and interaction with non-energy systems.

This was a competitive funding call which received 24 expressions of interest, with eight EOIs invited to submit full proposals. We would therefore like to congratulate the successful projects and look forward to working with them going forward.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to those involved in this and the previous Flexible Fund calls, this includes all the applicants, reviewers and the steering committee.

Awarded projects

Gas price volatility: distributional impacts and mitigations

PI: Monica Giulietti, Loughborough University

Concerns are growing around the social and economic implications of unprecedented increases in energy prices. This project will assess the impact of policy measures aimed at increasing consumers’ resilience to energy price volatility, including those specifically directed at vulnerable consumers. It will also consider whether more robust legal and institutional mechanisms are required to maintain the credibility of the energy regulation system.

The marine energy, biodiversity and food nexus (EcoNex)

PI: Beth Scott, University of Aberdeen

The UK has plans to increase offshore wind capacity to 50 GW by 2030. This will require an understanding of the trade-offs between climate change and the multiple uses of marine natural resources. This project will work with renewable industry and policy bodies to enable evidence-based, informed actions to improve decision making when balancing environmental, social, and economic impacts, ensuring marine net gain as part of national policy assessments.

SME governance of net zero

PI: Sam Hampton, University of Oxford

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential, yet largely neglected actors in the governance of the UK’s energy transition. SMEs struggle to find reliable information on pathways to achieving net zero, while policymakers struggle to respond effectively given the sheer heterogeneity of the SME population. This project aims to provide a robust evidence base to support the multi-level governance of SME decarbonisation across the four UK nations.