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Energy & Political Economy: Local Authorities, Sustainability and Power Distributions

Power Distributions: Local Authorities & Sustainable Energy


This ESRC funded project analyses local authority sustainable energy programmes. Particular attention is paid to the implications of political devolution and decentralising energy systems for local government capacities to govern and for the types of choices that they can make. Case study areas: West Midlands Combined Authority, Bristol, Cornwall, Nottingham, and Cardiff. Read more.


4. Roundtable, Terrace Room D, Houses of Parliament, 27 May 2019

The project Policy Brief, Local Sustainable Energy Taskforce, was launched at a roundtable dinner in Parliament on the 27 March 2019. The roundtable was hosted by UK100 and was attended by MPs, local councillors, and a BEIS representative. For a link to the Policy Brief see here.

3. Workshop: A New Sustainable Energy Knowledge & Coordination Resource for the UK?
On the 15th February 2019 representatives of local government, think tanks, and academics met to discuss how to improve access for local authorities to sustainable energy information.
2. Conference: Local Authority Sustainable Energy: Opportunities, Constraints, Ways Forward: 14th September, 2018, Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, London

This conference brought together personnel working in local authorities on sustainable energy with other stakeholders in order to discuss experiences, exchange ideas and make new connections. We discussed questions around: the apparent lack of co-ordiantion between national and local sustainable energy policy; devolution; and routes to financing local energy.

Click here for a SUMMARY, here for the agenda, and here for list of attendees.

Conference presentations:

Polly Billington (Finance), UK100; Steffi Harangozo (Legal & Policy), North Yorkshire County Council; John Kolm-Murray (Legal & Policy), Greater London Authority; Andrew Waggott (Finance), Portsmouth City Council; Mark Bramah (Finance), Municipia; Steve Cains (Legal & Policy), Public Power Solutions; Calum Robertson (Place & Planning), Zero Waste Scotland; Andrew Briggs (Place & Planning), Stoke-on-Trent City Council; Hywel Lloyd (Place & Planning), Institute of Public Policy Research/UK100; and Caroline Kuzemko (International View), University of Warwick.

To access their slides, please click on each name highlighted in blue.

1. On the 17th March 2017 we hosted an academic workshop on 'Decentralisations: Political Devolution and Sustainable Transitions' - for information please click on the separate tab 'Decentralisations workshop'

Policy Brief

On the 27th March 2019 a policy brief, 'Local Sustainable Energy Taskforce', written with Jessica Britton (University of Exeter) and Margaret Tingey (University of Edinburgh), was launched in Parliament. It sets out three policy recommendations: to establish a Local Sustainable Energy Taskforce to systematically review the role of local authorities in the low carbon transition; to improve co-ordination between central and local government; and to provide a comprehensive and accessible information resource on local sustainable energy.

Useful Links

Please see here for the report by Sir David King, and fellow members of the West Midlands Energy Policy Committee, on 'Powering West Midlands Growth: a Regional Approach to Clean Energy Innovation'.

Project People

Caroline Kuzemko is the principle investigator working on this project. She is an academic with 10 years’ experience in researching the political economy of energy and currently holds an Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC) Future Research Leaders Fellowship. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, and sat on the West Midlands Combined Authority Policy Commission on energy. She previously worked as Head of Latin American Equity Sales for UBS in London.
In July/August 2017 Caroline supervised a project by Nia Hughes on the 'The Politics of Urban Sustainability', which was funded by the University of Warwick GRP Energy URSS scheme. She analysed barriers to and opportunities for city sustainability transitions with a focus on Coventry City Council.


For information on the project please email: Caroline Kuzemko


''Local Government & Sustainable Energy: Decentralisations & Building Capacity', Jessica Britton & Caroline Kuzemko, 18/2/20.

'Policy Brief: Local Sustainable Energy Taskforce', Caroline Kuzemko, 03/04/19.

'Local Authorities & Sustainable Energy: Conference Summary', Caroline Kuzemko, 27/9/2018.

'Rescaling Energy & Power: Sustainable Energy Transitions in England', Caroline Kuzemko, 7/7/2017.