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.

The costs and impacts of intermittency – 2016 update

By Robert Lyons on 27th February 2017

This report updates a previous UKERC study, published in 2006, which reviews the evidence on integrating variable renewable sources such as wind and solar into power systems. The new report argues that the key challenge facing policymakers, regulators and markets is delivering a flexible, low carbon system that makes best use of variable renewables whilst minimising overall cost and enhancing security and reliability.

A new report by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee argues that the government needs to set out new modelling on air quality following the High Court’s latest ruling and a new approach to air quality post 2019; an emissions reduction strategy that will allow the UK’s carbon budgets to be met; and effective noise mitigation measures enforced by an Independent Aviation Noise Authority. The Government must not allow our air quality standards to be watered down as a result of leaving the EU.

Overheating in Buildings: Adaptation Responses

By Robert Lyons on 15th February 2017

This Building Research & Information special issue explores the unintended rise in internal temperatures during warm weather, which can lead to heat stress and constitutes a public health problem.  Many countries do not currently rely on air conditioning for comfort.  However, the inability to create comfortable buildings in many temperate climate zones such as the UK where air conditioning was not necessary will have a perverse outcome by increasing summer electricity usage and create a dependence on air conditioning.

The Urban Heat project examined the potential role of the local voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the development of local climate resilience. The final report provides a snapshot of the UK ‘heatwave planning’ and ‘community resilience’ national, regional and local policy and practice landscapes. The reports also offers a compelling, evidence-based analysis of the untapped potential of the VCS to contribute more fully to local planning and practice in climate resilience and emergency planning. 

Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016

By Robert Lyons on 30th January 2017

This report is an indicator-based assessment of past and projected climate change and its impacts on ecosystems and society. It also looks at society’s vulnerability to these impacts and at the development of adaptation policies and the underlying knowledge base.

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Greening the grid

By Robert Lyons on 17th January 2017

This extended article, now available on the ESRC website notes that while a future where renewable energy prevails is a dream for many, today the UK is still heavily reliant on older power generation technology such as coal, gas and nuclear. What steps are necessary to make the renewable energy future a reality?

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Shaping the Paris Mechanisms

By Robert Lyons on 3rd January 2017

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement established three approaches for countries to cooperate with each other: cooperative approaches, a new mechanism to promote mitigation and sustainable development ('sustainable development mechanism'), and a framework for non-market approaches.

Arctic Resilience Report

By Robert Lyons on 3rd January 2017

This report is the concluding scientific product of the Arctic Resilience Assessment, a project launched by the Swedish Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.

New papers on energy transition research

By Robert Lyons on 6th December 2016

The journal Energy Research & Social Science has published a set of new research papers examining the political, sociological and psychological aspects of a transition to new energy systems. The papers cover questions around evaluation, measurement, behaviour change and more.

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A consultation tool written jointly by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) was launched at the Town and Country Planning Association’s ‘Are we planning for the climate challenge’ event. The new tool lets communities take the lead in planning their own low-carbon future. It adopts CSE and CPRE’s new ‘Future Energy Landscapes’ approach that shows that putting local people at the centre of energy planning can result in ambitious vision and targets.

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