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.

Sustainable Mobility through Fuel Cells and H2

By Robert Lyons on 30th August 2017

In 2050, 113million fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) could save up to 68 million tonnes of fuel and almost 200 million tonnes of carbon emissions. As such, they could make a significant contribution to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. That is the conclusion reached in a study produced by Shell and the Wuppertal Institute jointly and which now has been translated into English.

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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.

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 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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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.

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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The more variable nature of some forms of renewable energy can be balanced by using adequately flexibile measures, such as adaptable fuel generation sources, active demand response (a change in consumer power consumption to match the demand for power with the supply), better storage of power and interconnections; the big challenge is to develop a flexible power system with the adequate resources to ensure a cost-effective integration of renewables.

This study, based on a one-year field trial of a solar power installation in India, found that despite substantial increases in access to electricity there was no systematic evidence for changes in savings, spending, business creation, time spent working or studying, or other broader indicators of socioeconomic development.

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This new report for Citizens Advice Scotland points to the monopoly nature of district heating schemes, depriving consumers of many of the protections usually available in gas and electricity markets. With district heating set to expand in Scotland, the report explores what consumer protections might be needed in future and the options available to secure them. 

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This new UKERC report argues that energy cooperation over the past decades has helped European countries to enhance their geopolitical security, respond to growing climate threats, and create a competitive pan-European energy market. Maintaining close cooperation in this field, and the UK’s integration in the European internal energy market (IEM), will be important for the UK and the EU27 post-Brexit.

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