Research

We lead a transformative research programme focused on energy demand reductions in buildings, transport and industry. We take a whole systems approach and consider energy demand as a complex issue that requires an interdisciplinary approach. We work closely with our partners in a co-created research programme to deliver evidence-based insights for research impact.

Our Themes

Our research programme is arranged in five main interdisciplinary research themes of Futures, Flexibility, Place, Governance and Equity. They cut across different scientific disciplines from engineering to social sciences. We explore technological, economic and societal solutions that can deliver energy demand reductions in buildings, transport and industry. We address research questions such as how to develop a low energy future, what technological and social changes are needed, by whom and where, and how can we ensure that a transition to a low energy future is fair and secure.

Our research is strongly guided by theory to develop latest thinking in energy demand research. We use and further develop different qualitative and quantitative methods that range from interviews, case studies, deliberative processes, scenarios and modelling to spatial analysis to name a few. Many of our researchers are self-declared energy and data geeks who like nothing more than to ensure robust methods. We strive for impactful research across all our themes, guided by our Theory of Change.

Our Challenges

Our research themes connect via challenges as a mechanism to collaborate further, build shared understanding and harmonise work across EDRC’s different research themes and projects. The Challenges act as an ideas incubator and bring together outcomes from different parts of EDRC while helping to develop others.

Different engineering and technological energy demand solutions are needed for buildings, heating, transport and industry. This means considering also different social and spatial contexts and the impact of historical infrastructure legacies. The engineering challenge takes a whole system view towards developing technological roadmaps and sociotechnical pathways to speed up decarbonisation.

Challenge Leads: Mia Ben and Aruna Sivakumar

Related Projects

Future: Public support and engagement for low energy futures, Flexible low energy future, Local low energy futures, Industrial low energy future

Flexibility: Demand-side flexibility: Requirements, Potentials and Values

Place: Place-Based Retrofit & Regeneration Models, Creating a skilled workforce tailored to delivering regional energy transitions and Transformations in Place

Equity: Problem and solution framework for energy-related inequities in the UK, Developing solutions to fuel and transport poverty challenges, Human-centred self-adaptive AI tool for Net Zero Community and Creating an Equity Living Lab (ELL) to test energy demand solutions

Governance: Deliberative practice for action on insight

People, Place and Governance: Intervention and Action, Political Feasibility and Readiness to Act and Frameworks, paradigms and practices for low energy futures

An understanding is needed on how the rapid rollout of known energy demand reduction technologies and processes will be delivered. This requires sustaining existing sustainable practices and finding news ones. Different delivery models will be needed to reach certain decarbonisation goals. In this consideration is needed on how institutions, people, resources, and infrastructures can be organised to deliver energy demand actions.

Challenge Leads: Janine Morley and Donal Brown

Related Projects

Futures: Public support and engagement for low energy futures

Flexibility: Making flexibility happen effectively and equitably

Place: Place-Based Retrofit & Regeneration Models

Equity: Problem and solution framework for energy-related inequities in the UK, Developing solutions to fuel and transport poverty challenges, Maximising equity outcomes of energy demand solutions and Creating an Equity Living Lab (ELL) to test energy demand solutions

People, Place and Governance: Intervention and Action, Political Feasibility and Readiness to Act

Energy security refers to having access to energy sources at the right time, at the right price and in a sustainable manner. We need a step change in policy and research to understand how energy security can incorporate demand-side measures. The rapid changes in energy prices have highlighted the need for technological, social and political interactions between policy goals of affordability, security and net zero.

Challenge Leads: Stefan Bouzarovski and Tim Foxon

Related projects

Futures: Public support and engagement for low energy futures

Flexibility: Demand-side flexibility: Requirements, Potentials and Values and Implications and access to benefits of flexibility

Place: Transformations in Place and Place-Based Carbon Calculator

Equity: Problem and solution framework for energy-related inequities in the UK and Creating an Equity Living Lab (ELL) to test energy demand solutions

A more diverse workforce is needed to address energy demand. The UK needs a clear national and local skills plans to meet net zero objectives and long-term energy security aims. Issues such as the expected quantity, quality and geographic distribution of green jobs, what existing labour constraints are, how skills competition may impact wages and which jobs appeal to younger workers are all issues that require further exploration.

Challenge Leads: Faye Wade and Christian Calvillo Munoz

Related projects

Futures: Public support and engagement for low energy futures

Place: Creating a skilled workforce tailored to delivering regional energy transitions

Equity: Understanding wider economy implications and equity outcomes and Understanding the labour justice outcomes of green job transitions

Governance: People, Place and Governance: Intervention and Action