IGov project makes case for energy governance reform

The IGov project has concluded after seven years, with its central conclusion being that the GB governance framework is not fit for purpose.

Running from 2012 until December 2019, IGov examined the level, type and speed of system change within GB and internationally, along with its drivers, constraints, how actors across energy systems are responding, and how this has been either shaping, enabling or undermining energy system change.

Finding the GB system to be inadequate in the face of rapid innovation and the need to decarbonise, IGov recommended a series of reforms to lead to a system of governance incentivising the outcomes a society needs from the energy system. These outcomes would include security, rapid carbon reduction and social goals, and would be underpinned by three core principles. These would be legitimate and transparent governance, including setting clear outcomes and aligning value in the system with the outcomes required; place people at the centre, with governance rewarding those providing system services; and adaptive regulation, capable of keeping pace with innovation.

IGov also proposed the creation of an Energy Transformation Commission (ETC) to reform institutional structures for energy governance, implementing objectives set by government. The ETC would oversee the transformation process, coordinate all institutions involved, and provide a hub for consultation and engagement. An integrated independent system operator, meanwhile, would combine gas, electricity and aspects of transport, at different levels, both transmission and distribution, to ensure implementation of carbon goals.