• POSTnote

    Flexible Electricity Systems

    The electricity system of Great Britain is becoming increasingly decentralised, with more complex patterns of power production, transportation and consumption. New types of ‘flexibility’ are being developed to facilitate and manage these changes. This POSTnote reviews ways of developing flexibility, as well as technical and economic barriers to doing so.

  • POSTbrief

    Distributed Ledger Technology

    Distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a type of digital records system that allows multiple identical copies of a ledger to be stored on different computers on a network and updated by multiple different users. This POSTbrief provides a technical overview of the different types of DLT and how they work. It discusses some of the main applications of DLT and highlights the benefits and challenges of the technology.

  • POSTnote

    Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

    There is growing UK and international interest in using ‘small modular nuclear reactors’ (SMRs) to generate electricity, and the UK Government announced a number of measures to support SMR development in the 2018 Nuclear Sector Deal. Stakeholders suggest that, compared with conventional nuclear reactors, SMRs could offer cost savings to operators and consumers, more flexible energy production and a greater choice of potential sites. This note examines key aspects of SMR technology, their economics and regulation.

  • POSTnote

    Overseas Electricity Interconnection

    Electricity markets in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe are physically linked by ‘interconnector’ cables. These benefit energy system operators and consumers by reducing prices. They can also help integrate renewable electricity and ensure security of supply. This note discusses these benefits, proposals for future increases in interconnection and the potential effects of Brexit.

  • POSTbrief

    Topics of Interest 2018

    This list sets out the topic areas identified of possible parliamentary interest under the 9 different category headings (Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Forestry, Crime, Defence, Education and Skills, Energy, Environment, Health, ICT and Robotics and Transport and Infrastructure).

  • POSTnote

    Decarbonising the Gas Network

    The burning of natural gas for heating contributes 14% of the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Decarbonising, or reducing the carbon content of the UK gas supply is one option for reducing the emissions from heating. This POSTnote looks at the contribution that two alternative gases, hydrogen and biomethane, could make in achieving this goal.

  • POSTnote

    Cyber Security of UK Infrastructure

    The Government has identified ‘cyber’ as one of six Tier 1 threats to UK national security. This POSTnote focuses on the cyber security of the UK’s critical national infrastructure, describing measures to improve cyber security and challenges in implementing them. It also reviews the new National Cyber Security Strategy, along with international policy and legislation.

  • POSTnote

    Quantum Technologies

    Quantum Technologies use the behaviour of matter and light that is normally only observed at very small scales. This POSTnote introduces recent advances, applications, and UK initiatives to support their development and commercialisation. It also reviews policy concerns such as privacy, access to new technologies and secure communications.

  • POSTnote

    Greenhouse Gas Removal

    The 2015 Paris Agreement called for a balance between sources of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and their removal by 2100 to halt global temperature rise. This POSTnote explains why Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) techniques may be required to achieve this goal, outlines the benefits of and concerns about them, and considers policy options.

  • POSTnote

    The Water-Energy-Food Nexus

    The term nexus describes the key interactions between parts of a system or systems. This POSTnote summarises current understanding of the interactions between water, energy and food production and examines how nexus approaches can be used to inform policy decisions.

  • POSTnote

    Carbon Footprint of Heat Generation

    Heat Policy takes into account the carbon footprint of different heating technologies. This POSTnote summarises evidence about the carbon footprints of current and emerging heating technologies in the domestic, commercial and industrial sectors. It then outlines wider considerations for heat policy and broad assessments of the ‘best’ way to reduce emissions from heating.

  • POSTbrief

    Measuring Performance for the Carbon Budgets

    Part 6 of the Energy Bill 2015-16 proposes an amendment to the Climate Change Act to adjust the performance measure used in the UK’s statutory carbon budgets. The new measure would include UK territorial emissions only. With this change, credits or debits from the EU Emissions Trading System would not contribute towards the UK’s performance against its carbon budgets from 2028 onwards. This POSTbrief introduces the carbon budgets, explains the proposed change and outlines the implications of the proposed change.

  • POSTnote

    Future of Natural Gas in the UK

    UK shale gas exploration and efforts to mitigate climate change have stimulated debate about the future of the natural gas sector. This briefing looks at potential future pathways for the sourcing and use of natural gas in the UK. It also considers the implications for the economy, energy prices, the reliability of energy supplies and efforts to cut emissions.