New or reformed governance mechanisms are needed to steer the UK’s energy networks towards their low-carbon future, according to a new report.

The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) asked four experts to compile “think pieces” on the challenges for investment in the UK’s energy network infrastructures and options for reform.

The four experts – Bob Hull, Keith Maclean, John Rhys and Jorge Vasconcelos – agreed that a more local and decentralised element was needed in decision making.

Drawing the four scenarios together, the ETI has suggested a broader mix of energy vectors – heat, power and gaseous fuels – within a more integrated “system” of energy transmission, storage and distribution.

Heat as well as electricity

George Day, ETI’s Head of Economic Strategy, said: “We did this project to stimulate wider thinking about how we govern and regulate investment in major new energy networks.  

“This infrastructure has a long life and we need to make the right decisions for a low-carbon future.

“Much of the current debate is about new electricity infrastructure, but our work on the UK’s low-carbon future suggests that we may also need completely new kinds of energy networks, like heat networks, working together with existing networks.”

> Download the report