IESIS publishes new strategy paper, 29 November 2018:

Engineering for Energy - A proposal for governance of the energy system

Authored by the IESIS Energy Strategy Group


The paper argues that government policy for energy must be based on engineered planning. The planning should be carried out by a National Energy Authority.

The paper recommends how government decisions about energy should formulated.  It does not make any recommendations about what the energy policy should be.

The focus is on the electricity system because that is the crucial issue. Main strategies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions depend on increased use of electricity.

Engineered planning involves the use of a range of problem solving strategies as described in To Engineer

The following definitions are crucial to the proposals made in the paper:
  • The risk to security of supply is that the demand for electricity may not be satisfied.
  • The risk to security of operation is that the system may become unstable and close down.
  • A system model is a set of algorithms and data that can be used to predict the behaviour of the electricity system.
The proposals are based on the following principles:
  • The security risks can only be satisfactorily controlled by use of information from a system model.
  •  It is therefore imperative that the system is planned using such information. The planning needs to take account of all relevant issues, including cost and emissions reduction - that can also be addressed by a system model.
  • The planning process must be under the control of an independent body
The report provides conclusive evidence that engineered planning for the electricity system can be successful.

Downloading the paper is free but those who download the paper are invited to make a contribution to the IESIS Education Fund that supported the production of the paper. See here for methods of payment.

If you would like to Gift Aid your contribution to the Education Fund please complete the form here

Printed copies

Printed copies priced £10 plus P&P can be ordered by contacting:

L Clow, Administrative Secretary
16 Robertson Street
Glasgow, G2 8DS
email: secretary@iesis.org, tel: 0141 248 3721

Proceeds from sales are allocated to the IESIS Education fund


Background to the paper

The IESIS Energy Strategy Group was formed in 2007 to promote the principle that government energy policy should be based on sound engineering principles.  Representations have been made to the Westminster and Holyrood Governments and to other bodies on several occasions. Documents have been made available on www.iesisenergy.org.

We have refined our arguments that justify this principle.   Engineering for Energy represents the culmination of our efforts in this direction.

The main power systems engineers in the Group are:

Although not a formal member of the Strategy Group, Sir Donald Miller, has provided very important support. In 2015 he was inducted to the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame - see: www.engineeringhalloffame.org/profile-miller.html.  See also the transcript of his acceptance speech for that award: www.engineeringhalloffame.org/assets/files/donaldmilleracceptance.pdf

Iain MacLeod, former President of IESIS, was the lead author for the report.

Others who have made contributions to the work of the Group include:
Ian Arbon, Blair Armstrong, Chris Denton, Tom Douglas, Douglas Greenalgh, Ieuan Isaac, Hugh Henderson, Robert Hollingdale, Bryan Little, Gordon Masterton,  Harry Osborn, Andy Pearson, Bill Ross, Charles Scott, Keith Vass, David Watson, Willie Wilson, Alan Young.