Online course

Transforming Energy Systems: Why Governance Matters

Tackling climate change demands profound and rapid energy system transformation. Discover how effective governance enables this.

  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Weekly study 4 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $59 Find out more

Understand the importance of governance for rapid energy system decarbonisation.

Energy governance includes the rules, regulations, institutions and politics that affect energy system change. Effective governance is key to the transformation of energy systems in order to tackle climate change with the urgency that’s needed.

On this course, you will explore how and why energy systems need to change, and what this means for security, people and costs. You will also learn about the key elements of effective energy governance and explore real-life examples of energy governance from around the world.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsWe are facing a climate emergency. global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise whilst the window for action to limit the worst impacts of climate change is closing. Energy use accounts for two thirds of greenhouse gas emissions. We need to decarbonise our energy system, and we need to do it now. To avoid a climate breakdown, the scale and pace of decarbonisation needs to increase. To do this, we need to change the rules, regulations and institutions that govern our energy systems; it is this governance which enables or constrains system change.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 secondsOver this four week course ‘Transforming Energy Systems – why governance matters’ you will learn from leading researchers about what energy systems look like, what challenges we face, what changes are in progress, what governance is and how changing it can accelerate the delivery of a renewable, secure, equitable energy system.

What topics will you cover?

Energy System Transformation: changes, challenges and governance

  • What energy systems are for and how they work
  • Links between energy systems, climate change, air pollution and equity
  • Exploring energy system change through a 4D approach (decarbonisation, decentralisation, digitisation and democratisation)
  • The role of energy governance in system transformation

Emerging Energy Systems

  • How are the characteristics and operation of energy systems changing
  • What does a smart and flexible future look like
  • Changing value flows and new business models within energy systems
  • What does the energy transformation mean for current institutions?

People, Scale and Society

  • How is the role of people within energy systems changing?
  • What is meaningful consent and why is it so important?
  • What is local energy, why is growing in importance and what are the implications of this?
  • How can we best coordinate change across multiple levels of the energy system?

Energy governance change for rapid decarbonisation

  • How to co-ordinating the governance of electricity, heat and transport
  • The importance of a people-focused energy system, and how to get it
  • Examples of good energy governance from other countries
  • A fit-for purpose energy governance framework for energy system transformation

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explore the need for energy system transformation, ways to achieve it and the role of governance within it
  • Describe how the characteristics of energy systems are changing as they become smarter and flexible and what this means for institutions and system value streams
  • Explore how energy systems are becoming more localised and closer to people, and what the implications of this are for coordinating change
  • Identify what governance change is required to deliver a sustainable, equitable, affordable and secure energy system
  • Apply your knowledge of governance to identify suitable changes for rapid decarbonisation

Who is the course for?

This course is for those with an existing knowledge or interest in energy systems and energy system change. This includes energy practitioners, policymakers, regulators, researchers and students in the field.

Who will you learn with?

Prof. Catherine Mitchell

Catherine Mitchell is Professor of Energy Policy at Exeter University. She works on the link between energy governance and innovation and runs the IGov research project www.exeter.ac.uk/igov

Jess Britton

Jess Britton is a Research Fellow in the Energy Policy Group at the University of Exeter. She works on the local governance needs for energy system change and new business models.

Helen Poulter

Helen Poulter is a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Exeter studying the role of adaptive governance in energy system transformation.

Rebecca Willis

Rebecca Willis is a Research Fellow in the Energy Policy Group at the University of Exeter. She focusses on energy and climate governance issues. www.rebeccawillis.co.uk

Who developed the course?

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction.

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