The transition to low energy future will allow us to enhance people’s quality of life whilst also meeting our emissions reduction targets. The Futures theme seeks to understand the complex process of transformative change that will be needed to deliver a large-scale reduction in energy demand.

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Understanding the transition to low energy future

The UK’s transition to low energy future will be transformative and complex. Change at this scale requires advances in technology deployment, shifts in social practices, and integrated approaches to regional and national planning. Our aim is to understand and articulate the conditions that will be essential in realising the UK’s transition to a low energy future. Our approach will seek to answer a series of interconnected questions such as is there a social mandate for a low energy future, what this means for different regions and what are the cost, flexibility and resilience implications for a net-zero emission power system.

The Futures theme develops and tests different options as to what a low energy future may look like and what change would be required at a societal level to achieve those. This means assessing policies, infrastructure, services and public engagement. To get people’s views on various future low energy options, the Futures theme includes a Citizens’ Panel to understand if a social mandate exists for a low energy future. We bring together citizen panellists and technical experts to understand what conditions are needed and what are the expected roles of citizens, governments, businesses and other actors in the energy transition.

The Futures theme builds on research developed in the Positive Low Energy Futures (PLEF) project.

“While we have a clear vision of a positive low energy future, more research is required to understand if there is a social mandate for the technologies and social transformations required to achieve this. We are excited to explore the realities of delivering a low energy future in the UK.”