Independent and technology-agnostic thought leadership tackling the hardest challenges on the way to Net Zero

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Designing policies and regulations to create a Net Zero energy market

Energy Systems Catapult offers energy policy, regulatory, and market design expertise that combines deep understanding of technology, economics, and policy, informed by cutting-edge modelling and evidence-based analysis.

Understanding the reform agenda requires deep knowledge of existing policy and regulatory frameworks, the processes of government and regulators, and the technology and economics of low carbon energy options for homes and businesses.

We work with Government, regulators, SMEs, innovators, and academia to develop practical, solution-focused market design, policy, and regulatory options.

Policy Expertise

  • Policy interpretation of energy system modelling, engineering, and infrastructure transitions 
  • Economy-wide span of carbon policy knowledge 
  • Electricity market design and policy analysis 
  • Heat decarbonisation policy, local energy planning and social policy dimensions of energy. 

Regulatory Expertise

  • Deep understanding of regulatory challenges raised by low carbon technical and social change 
  • Incentive design and low carbon regulatory mechanisms 
  • Deep understanding of economic regulation of utilities 
  • Network price controls and incentives. 

Economic Appraisal

  • Substantial experience of economic policy appraisal and impact assessment 
  • Tariff design and analysis, network charging policy, and regulatory economics 
  • Environmental and welfare economics perspectives and analysis, including externality valuation. 

Impactful Engagement

  • Engagement on policy and regulatory issues with Government and regulatory authorities 
  • Deep appreciation of the institutional environment for policy decision making. 

What we offer

Energy Systems Catapult provides evidence, insights and thought leadership for policy, regulation and market development for Net Zero.

Policy Positions

Unique whole systems evidence and insights in response to Government consultations and calls for evidence, to help policy-makers transform the UK energy system to achieve Net Zero targets.

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How to work with us

Energy Systems Catapult provides technical, commercial and policy expertise to drive innovation across the whole energy system.

Our independent and technology-agnostic approach, has built a trusted track record in delivering thought leadership, collaborative R&D and commercial commissioning.

Providing a range of capabilities, tools and labs – from world class Net Zero modelling and cutting-edge systems engineering – through to digital and data science and real-world innovation trials that drive start-ups to success.

Commission us

Supporting energy companies and networks, industrial sites and commercial businesses to navigate to Net Zero.

Collaborate with us

Supporting government, local authorities and innovators to create the new policies, markets, business models and technologies we need to deliver Net Zero.

Case studies

Policy Expertise

The Rethinking Decarbonisation Incentives project aimed to develop  a coherent set of interlocking sectoral instruments covering all emitting activities throughout the economy, with a linked market for greenhouse gas removals. Our approach involved:

  • Working collaboratively with a range of stakeholders across government, industry, and academia.
  • Taking a whole systems approach to developing solutions and undertaking high quality analysis by drawing on a range of Energy Systems Catapult expertise.

Current policies comprise of different taxes, subsidies, contracts and regulations, with incentives to cut carbon emissions varying widely across different sectors of the economy and rewards being generally much lower than it needs to be. This makes it very difficult to promote long-term investment and innovation. The Government has published a Clean Growth Strategy, but unlike other jurisdictions (e.g. California and Canada) there is relatively little strategic debate or commitment regarding:

  • The economic drivers for decarbonisation,
  • Creating an enduring framework for carbon reduction across the whole economy.

The Rethinking Decarbonisation Incentives project has shown that the UK can achieve a balanced economy-wide carbon policy framework to boost innovation and deliver clean growth, consistent with a Net Zero target in 2050.

This does not necessarily require relying on a single ambitious economy-wide instrument, such as a carbon tax or economy-wide trading system. Rather it is possible for the UK to develop a pathway towards more coherent incentives for emissions reduction across the energy system and the wider economy by developing a complementary mix of policies. Carbon standards offer potential to play a key role in this pathway.

Collaborate with us

The Markets, Policy and Regulation team is our centre of excellence for energy policy and regulatory knowledge.

Contact us

Commission us

Offering independent and technology-agnostic evidence, analysis and thought leadership to tackle the hardest problems on the way to Net Zero

Contact us