Energy strategy and policy
Element Energy offers strategic consultancy services throughout the low-carbon sector. Our engineering background, combined with expertise in consumer behaviour and technology development, has allowed us to deliver high-quality analysis and policy recommendations to numerous public sector bodies, including DECC, DCLG, the Climate Change Committee, the Energy Saving Trust and the Strategic Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
We played a critical role in the design of the UK Feed-in Tariff, and are delivering a similar project for the SEAI. Our other work (on small- and medium-scale renewables, energy efficiency and low-carbon vehicles) all shares similar broad aims: we aim to show how policy intervention can catalyse the growth of new markets most efficiently, and what contribution a sector can make, as it matures, to the UK’s overall energy policy goals.
We bring the following capabilities to our policy design work:
Resource assessment – many policy design projects require an assessment of the total ‘potential’ for a new technology. We have developed robust methodologies for assessing the market size of renewables and energy efficiency measures, often using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to characterise the resource across different parts of the UK/Ireland.
Technology developments – our excellent links with industry stakeholders allow us to maintain up-to-date data on current technology costs and performance, as well as projected improvement rates. This is essential for many studies where future price reductions are the main factor influencing the deployment rate and the cost of policy support.
Investor behaviour – Element has pioneered the use of cutting-edge consumer research techniques to capture the behaviour of domestic and institutional investors. Making sure all aspects of consumer behaviour are captured, including hidden costs, significantly improves the estimate of deployment trajectories and the required support levels.
Rigorous cost/benefit analysis – Element has substantial expertise in producing model outputs compatible with Government impact analyses. Our small-scale electricity model provided the evidence base used to generate the feed-in tariff levels and the associated impact analysis for DECC.
‘Qualitative’ policy analysis – this is as critical to the success of the policy as the quantitative evidence. Our detailed knowledge of European and international best practice in policy design allows our clients to make use of lessons learned in other countries, improving policy efficiency while minimising risks of unintended effects such as overstimulation of the market.