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.

Interdisciplinary whole systems research has attracted increasing interest both in the UK and internationally as a response to complex societal challenges such as the sustainable energy transition. Yet, this article for Energy Research & Social Science argues, this  research is often poorly understood by funders, commissioners, assessors and the researchers involved, in terms of its particular aims and needs.

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A new report by the Overseas Development Institute and Climate Action Network finds that from 2014 to 2016, EU governments provided 997 fossil fuel subsidies, provided through fiscal support, public finance and investment by state-owned enterprises (SOEs). In total, 11 European countries and the EU provided at least €112 billion in subsidies per year.

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Powering Cities in the Global South

By Robert Lyons on 4th October 2017

A new report by the World Resource Institute (WRI) highlights fundamental energy challenges facing cities in the global South and offers practical solutions for how cities can meet the needs of the underserved city dwellers while charting development models that slow carbon emissions.

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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.

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