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An overview of Britain's changing energy sector - what you need to know

The energy sector is extensive; it involves many parties, supports many functions and comprises complex dynamics between commercial, policy and technical landscapes. It is also undergoing an unprecedented change.

At their core, the more static and centralised energy systems built last century are transforming into new flexible, sustainable and user-focused energy systems. Shaping this transition involves more stakeholders than ever before, many of whom are not energy specialists or are new to the energy sector.

In times of change, having a good view of the landscape makes all the difference for effective leadership and identifying new opportunities. To help stakeholders navigate some of the complexities of the sector, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) brings together simplified explanations and forward-looking views in its series of energy sector Insight briefings.

Our briefings start from a practical engineering perspective before continuing to explore wider commercial, policy and social dynamics. There is a bias towards electricity, as these aspects have the potential to be key to interlinking the whole energy landscape. This complements other briefings published in the sector that primarily focus on policy, regulation and markets. 

This first overview paper presents the breadth and complexity of the sector at a glance by setting out today’s structure and highlighting key areas of change. We present insights aimed to help both realise and benefit from these changes.

An overview of Britain's changing energy sector