Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow …. a blog by Andy Boston on “Leveraging Today’s Perspectives for Tomorrow’s Energy”.


Since ERP was formed in 2006 we have seen many issues in the world of energy innovation rise up the agenda and at ERP we have looked at a good number of them.

When we looked back over them recently we were surprised at the range of topics we had covered and the impact we have had.

Some of our projects have focussed on technologies, like nuclear fission, where one of ERP’s main recommendations was the need to develop a long-term strategy for nuclear energy in the UK and a roadmap for the R&D to deliver it. Soon afterwards a consortium (of which ERP was part) came together to consider what such a nuclear roadmap might look like. We have looked at storage twice, although the focus of the latest project is on non-technical barriers to deployment.

We have explored governance issues like cities – which recognised the importance of integrating city centric energy plans with national infrastructure and planning frameworks, and public engagement – where we have called for the development of a strategic narrative for energy, with public involvement.

Current issues include flexibility of the electricity system where the modelling clearly showed the necessity of building a significant amount of zero carbon firm capacity by 2030. The Hydrogen project highlighted the need to examine carefully the impact on primary energy demand and similarly the Energy for Transport project examined the upstream impact of different decarbonisation strategies for road vehicles.

All of our work has been greatly enhanced by access to such a broad range of members in the partnership. From oil majors to NGOs, from government to utilities, from academics to consultants and financiers, we have gained enormously from their input throughout the project life cycle. This has allowed us to stress test the recommendations from many perspectives and form objective, non-partisan conclusions and recommendations.

We have combined our look back over the projects of the past 10 years into a short publication of highlights, Leveraging Today’s Perspectives for Tomorrow’s Energy’.

As the Co-Chairs have pointed out we are still faced with critical technological questions if we are to meet our future energy and sustainability aspirations: “There is uncertainty about both the future cost and effectiveness of some technologies, but that we need new options is undeniable. We are committed to ensuring that we are collectively doing all we can to support innovation in technologies, systems and how these interact with wider society.”