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.

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.

This recent Green Alliance report looks at how small scale, low carbon energy technologies such as solar panels and electric cars are rapidly falling in cost as their popularity grows. The UK’s future energy market will not only consist of passive customers buying power from big and distant power stations. Instead it will increasingly be owned and operated by those who purchase these technologies.

Global trends in renewable energy

By Robert Lyons on 25th April 2017

A new report for UN Environment’s Economy Division finds that wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, geothermal, small hydro and marine sources added 138.5 gigawatts to global power capacity in 2016, up eight per cent from the 127.5 gigawatts added the year before. The added generating capacity roughly equals that of the world's 16 largest existing power producing facilities combined. Investment in renewables capacity was roughly double that in fossil fuel generation.

What impact can hydrogen and fuel cell technologies have in addressing the energy trilemma: energy security, energy cost, and CO2 emissions?

The H2FC SUPERGEN commissioned four evidence-based White Papers to inform key stakeholders, especially policy makers, of the roles and potential benefits of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in addressing:

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 Centre for Sustainable Energy, commissioned by the Welsh Government in 2015, identifies which low income households are the most vulnerable from the detrimental effects of living in cold homes, and which are in the greatest need of a home energy efficiency intervention. The research also tested the potential reach and impact of a new energy efficiency scheme using a number of different annual budgets.

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?

More…

The Speird Project

By Robert Lyons on 14th December 2016

The Scottish Government’s statistics now show that rural households spend more on energy to heat their homes than urban equivalents. However, research conducted by the project team using data from households in Renfrewshire has found this ‘energy spend gap’ is more significant than those statistics suggest, whilst other research has shown that influences on the energy spend of rural households are also highly multi-facted.

This study presents results from a smart metering intervention that provided detailed individual desk-based energy feedback to help individuals reduce energy in an organisation. Although the intervention was based on the study of individuals, this paper explores how the technology was socialised, and was set to explore changes in normative influence (descriptive and injunctive norms) around specific energy services, before and after the intervention.

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.

More…

Pages