This blog post was published under the 2015 to 2024 Conservative government

Kyle Dolan

Head of Science & Innovation, British Consulate-General Chicago

Guest blogger for Science and Innovation Network USA

Part of Global Science and Innovation Network

21st February 2018 Science Innovation USA

Utility 2050 and SIN address the future of clean power

The UK has ambitious plans to become a leader in clean energy, relying on low-carbon resources to power society. Delivering these plans will require buy-in from numerous stakeholders—industry, consumers, government—all of whom are asking the question: what would a UK clean energy sector look like? The UK Science & Innovation Network (SIN) is helping to answer this question by bringing in international experts to share their feedback and insights with UK thought leaders.

In January, SIN USA hosted members of the Utility 2050 project in Chicago for a ‘Decision Theatre’ workshop on the future of clean power utilities. Researchers from Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute shared their analyses of the future UK power sector with an audience of VIP US stakeholders from business and government, and attendees participated in activities to propose a series of ‘decisions’ that would enable the creation of new value pools in the low-carbon energy system of the future through technological adoption, new business models, and regulatory adaptation. This was the fourth and final workshop in a series that included two previous Decision Theatres in the UK and one in Berlin—also co-organised in part by SIN Germany—engaging European stakeholders. The findings of these workshops will inform a forthcoming academic paper by Utility 2050 which will provide guidance to help government, industry, and consumers in the UK pursue a successful transition to a low-carbon energy model.

In conjunction with the Chicago Decision Theatre, SIN USA invited a member of the Energy Systems Catapult to speak to the attendees about the UK’s clean energy and innovation landscape. Paul Jordan, Head of Business Development for the ES Catapult, described the Catapult network and highlighted the role ES Catapult plays in connecting researchers with businesses and government to enable progress on the UK’s push toward a cleaner energy future. Department of International Trade colleagues also joined various parts of the programme in order to capture potential leads for future business wins.

The organisation of this workshop provided an opportunity for some cross-HMG collaboration at post, as SIN worked with Department for International Trade colleagues to develop a list of high-value attendees for the workshop. Many thanks especially to Sam Hollis and Magda Lowisz, DIT Chicago, for their recruitment efforts.

Finally, SIN organised a meeting between the Utility 2050 and Catapult representatives and academics from the University of Illinois who are facilitating the state of Illinois’ own study on the evolution of its power sector, called NextGrid. This was a very fruitful conversation and both sides saw scope for the UK to share knowledge and best practices around common challenges and opportunities.

You can read more about the Chicago Decision Theatre and perspectives from Utility 2050 at the Grantham Institute blog. We’re looking forward to the follow-up and opportunities for further engagement with this team as part of SIN USA’s ongoing work to support the UK’s clean energy goals.

About Science and Innovation Network USA

This blog showcases the work of the UK Science and Innovation Network in the United States. SIN officers work with the local science and innovation community in support of UK…

This blog showcases the work of the UK Science and Innovation Network in the United States. SIN officers work with the local science and innovation community in support of UK policy overseas, leading to mutual benefits to the UK and the USA.

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