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Tyndall Manchester

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Tyndall researchers run dialogue session at British Institute for Energy Economics Biennial Conference

4 October 2018

As part of the Financing Community Energy project, Tyndall researchers Dr Tim Braunholtz-Speight and Dr Maria Sharmina convened a session at the British Institute for Energy Economics Biennial Conference in Oxford (September 18 – 19).

A plenary session at the BIEE conference

The title of the conference was “Consumers at the Heart of the Energy System?”, and this theme provoked many debates about smart systems at all spatial scales, big data and the digital divide. A popular point was that the energy system was about “people”, not just “consumers”, and this was the starting point for our session  on participation in future community energy business models

Our session started with short presentations from Tim, Maria, Dr Jeff Hardy (Imperial College), Mary Gillie (Energy Local), and Emilia Melville (Carbon Coop) who suggested that “citizens” should be at the heart of the energy system.  Participants included policymakers, practitioners and academics from across the UK and Europe.

Topics discussed included:

  • the practicalities of ‘time-of-use tariffs’ and different levels of engagement with energy data;
  • what scale community energy projects best operate at and how to connect them to local and regional authorities;
  • principles for funding the energy system, and whether a tax-and-reward approach to energy system externalities could help finance community energy; and
  • international comparisons of community enterprise culture, the Dutch DIY ethos and the ‘polder mentality’! 

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