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Foresight Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment Project


Decentralise governance (e.g. to local authorities) Changed ... Decentralisation could add to diversity, but innovation required to deal with complexity ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Foresight Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment Project

Foresight Sustainable Energy Management and the
Built Environment Project
  • FAN Club
  • 24 April 2009

Foresight Programme - Overview Jon Parke
  • Team Leader, Foresight Projects Follow-up

UK Foresight Programme - Aim -
  • Strengthen strategic policy making by
    embedding a futures approach across government.
  • By
  • Understanding what futures might be possible
  • Challenging presumptions
  • Building a more robust approach to the future

Foresight Projects
Programme stakeholders
Developing the future space
Scenario Development
Powering our Lives Sustainable Energy Management
and the Built Environment Project
  • Remit
  • To explore how the UK built environment could
    evolve to manage the transition over the next 5
    decades - to secure, sustainable, low carbon
    energy systems that meet the needs of society,
    the requirements of the economy and the
    expectations of individuals.

Dr Jim Watson
  • Director of the Sussex Energy Group
  • Deputy leader, Tyndall Centre climate change and
    energy programme

  • First signalled in the Energy Review, 2006
  • SEMBE is the first comprehensive, futures
    examination of energy systems in the UK built
    environment over the next 50 years
  • Project time-frame roughly coincides with the
    80 emissions reduction by 2050 target outlined
    in the Climate Change Act
  • SEMBE launched on 26 November 2008 (the same
    day that the Climate Change Act passed into law)

Evidence base
  • Around 60 peer-reviewed, State of Science
    papers, published in a Special Issue of Energy
    Policy Journal (vol. 36, issue 12)
  • Project participation by approximately 200
  • Report written by a lead expert team of eight
    scientific experts
  • Foresight scenarios visualising informed
    future narratives to make current policies more
    robust and resilient to change

Future scenarios
(No Transcript)
(No Transcript)
  • Energy systems in the built environment and how
    they can be used to meet emission reduction

Energy Scales and Lock-in
  • Centralisation and Lock-in
  • Energy Systems at Many Scales
  • Overcoming Lock-in
  • Security and Resilience
  • Changing Energy Behaviours

Centralisation and Lock-in
  • The UK energy system is highly centralised it
    has been successful in delivering affordable
    energy services to the majority of people.
  • In principle, UK policy goals could be achieved
    within this centralised system.
  • But lock-in to this system makes attainment of
    ambitious targets for emissions reduction and
    renewables expansion more difficult.
  • Lock-in is a multidimensional phenomenon,
    combining technologies, institutions, regulations
    and behaviours in particular patterns.

Energy Systems at Many Scales
Overcoming Lock-in
  • Key role for networks for heat, electricity,
    carbon dioxide, information technology
  • Open up the system by fostering innovation,
  • Local energy system experiments
  • Decentralise governance (e.g. to local
  • Changed guidance to the energy regulator
  • Evaluation frameworks also need to change
    Short term economic optimisation is not
    appropriate for large-scale transitions

Security and Resilience
  • Many relevant threats to security
  • Energy security including domestic threats
  • Climate change impacts on built environments
  • Vulnerability of some social groups to fuel
  • Security is system property it cannot be
    solved by single technologies
  • The built environment can improve energy system
    resilience and reduce vulnerability
  • Decentralisation could add to diversity, but
    innovation required to deal with complexity

Changing Energy Behaviours
  • People have not responded to energy prices and
    have not implemented energy efficiency measures
    at the scale and pace needed to meet emission
  • The report suggests it is sometimes unhelpful
    to use energy consumption as a proxy for carbon
    emissions when trying to encourage behaviour
  • A bold move would be to make the carbon cost of
    energy use visible through high energy prices,
    and would require additional policies to deal
    with the impacts on people on lower incomes.
  • Another method to encourage behaviour change
    would be further investment in the IT systems
    which would allow smart meters to be truly smart,
    and make energy use more transparent.
  • It would allow customers to alter usage based
    on price or when greener forms of energy were

  • How the built environment could be used to shift
    UK society to low carbon systems over the next 50

Main themes for the built environment
  • New Build
  • Retrofitting
  • Construction Industry
  • Changing Behaviours
  • Leading by Example

New Build
  • Targets have been set for all new house
    building to be zero carbon by 2016 all
    non-domestic building by 2019.
  • There are concerns over whether standards are
    being implemented, enforced and monitored.
  • Even if building standards are met, evidence
    shows that occupier behaviour can be a stronger
    determinant of energy use than building design.

  • Almost 70 of the buildings that will exist in
    2050 have already been built, so renewal and
    retrofitting, which can change efficiency
    dramatically, are important.
  • There needs to be more investment in RD for
    new technologies to make retrofitting easier, but
    also less expensive.
  • Current take up of existing policies has been
    low, but area based initiatives could promote
    involvement and share the cost of investment.
  • It will be necessary to involve firms,
    communities and individuals to ensure
    retrofitting technologies are adopted by all.

Construction Industry
  • New commercial models need to be established
    these could include the construction and
    development sector retaining a stake in the
    operational life of a development.
  • An improvement in the skills and capacity of
    the construction sector is needed in the short
    term market forces should address this in the
    medium term.

Changing Behaviours
  • The Report highlights that how we behave in
    homes and other buildings is as important in
    determining energy use and the details of
    building design.
  • There is potential to introduce frequent,
    possibly annual assessments of a buildings
    energy performance linked to minimum allowable
    standards (akin to a vehicle MOT) in order to
    promote change and to make people more regularly
    aware of building efficiency.
  • Green leases for commercial buildings could
    be linked to real-time energy data from smart

Leading by Example
  • The public sector has an important role to play
    as a major construction client, owner of estates
    and building occupier.
  • To capitalise on this there is a need to
    overcome fear of failure and negative auditing,
    and to implement strong leadership.

Foresights Sustainable Energy Management and
the Built Environment (SEMBE) Project www.foresigh