Research and Resources

Explore sustainability-related research and resources here, including recently released reports, journal articles, online tools and databases. Use the left sidebar to filter resources by theme.

Common Concerns About Wind Power - 2nd edition

By Robert Lyons on 15th August 2017

In 2011, the Centre for Sustainable Energy published a popular booklet called Common Concerns About Wind Power in response to requests from community energy groups looking for factual information about wind power. Since then, much has changed in the legal, economic and political sphere. However, the demand for accurate, balanced and factual information to counter the many myths and misconceptions about wind is as strong as ever. This second edition as a series of downloadable chapters, to facilitate easy sharing and distribution.

Climate Change Assessment Tool (CCAT)

By Robert Lyons on 15th August 2017

The Climate Change Assessment Tool (CCAT) has been specially devised to assist public sector organisations comply with the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, both in terms of meeting carbon emissions reductions targets and reporting to the Scottish Government.

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Energy bills could be cut by more than 60 percent - saving the average household over £600 a year - if homes were designed to generate, store and release their own solar energy, a report has revealed. The concept has already been proven and is operating successfully on a building in the UK.

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This modelling study, published in Nature Plants, suggests that while climate change could have a serious adverse effect on current coffee-growing areas, a shift of production to uphill areas could increase production fourfold. 

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This paper outlines one of the most promising of the pathways to a future, renewable-based German energy system with adequate flexibility, which is predicated on the use of electrolytically-produced hydrogen as an energy storage medium, as well as the replacement of hydrocarbon-based fuel for most road vehicles.

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CECAN Policy and Practice Note Series

By Robert Lyons on 2nd August 2017

CECAN has launched a Policy and Practice Note Series, with e-versions available to download.

The latest papers are:

This plan outlines 29 actions the government, Ofgem and industry will take to:

  • remove barriers to smart technologies (such as storage and demand-side response)
  • enable smart homes and businesses
  • improve access to energy markets for new technologies and business models

These actions are designed to reduce the costs of the energy system, and help keep energy bills low for consumers.

Valuing Our Clothes: the cost of UK fashion

By Robert Lyons on 18th July 2017

A new report by WRAP examines the environmental impact of the UK clothing industry. It highlights recent achievements in the sector, explores opportunities for businesses, and shares insights on consumer attitudes and behaviour toward clothing. However, it also notes that while the amount of clothing being sent to landfill has fallen by 14% from 350,000 tonnes in 2012 to 300,000 in 2016 around 25 per cent is still binned rather than recycled.

Sustainability of liquid biofuels

By Robert Lyons on 18th July 2017

A new report by the Royal Academy of Engineering suggests that the UK should focus on the use of waste for the production of biofuels rather than crops that might displace food production. The authors argue that ncentives should be given to farmers to increase production of fuel crops like Miscanthus on marginal land and note that even with the greater use of electric vehicles, biofuels will still be needed for aviation and heavy goods.

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A new paper for Nature Scientific Reports arguest that while diesel-engined vehicles are currently a major source of particulate pollution, modern diesel vehicles actually produce lower levels of such emissions than petrol-engined cars. Whether gasoline or diesel cars are more polluting depends on the pollutant in question - in other words, that diesel cars are not necessarily worse polluters than gasoline cars.

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