Research into energy demand and its reduction through technical and socio-economic measures. It includes research in the context of the built environment, transport, heat, industrial processes and products.
This research area focuses on energy demand and its reduction through technical measures (for example energy efficiency) and socio-economic measures.
It includes research in the context of the built environment, transport, heat, and industrial processes and products.
The research is interdisciplinary, covering socio-technical and techno-economic approaches, for example:
- energy-efficient technologies
- organisational aspects
- individual behaviour.
The Committee on Climate Change’s fifth carbon budget has recognised reducing energy demand as the most effective intervention to meet 2050 greenhouse gas emission targets, while other approaches focus on supply.
This research area focuses on research that includes a technical and socio-economic understanding of demand for energy services, rather than solely on technology or solely on socio-economic aspects.
Critical mass programme
The critical mass programme within this research area is the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS). CREDS has been formed from the previous six End-Use Energy Demand (EUED) centres and aims to enable stakeholders in government and industry to understand energy demand and how it might change in the future.
We will establish a sustainable critical mass activity.
The fields of energy demand in transport and in non-domestic buildings should become more integrated into critical mass activities.
Research on heat
Research on heat is an important cross-cutting theme and the integrated approach to it should continue.
A key priority is to form a stronger link with research on energy supply, including mapping the co-evolution of EUED with supply. Activity should include research into the relationship between individual decisions and absolute energy demand.
Digital and information technologies
The link to developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) research area and digital technologies is increasingly important. This research area’s portfolio should include research on data, ICT and new business models that turn demand-related opportunities into new products or services.
Making an impact
Societal and economic impact derives from reducing the energy needed for sustainable lifestyles and breaking the link between economic growth and energy demand. The primary route for impact in this area’s portfolio is by influencing both government and corporate industrial policy, especially within energy-intensive industries. Success will require practical evidence and a co-ordinated approach to engaging government and policymakers.
Building a community of researchers
To build a sustainable community of researchers, we will build studentship funding and support for leaders in the field of energy demand research.
One aim for the UK end-use energy demand research community is to establish itself as world leading and achieve this through the internationalisation of the socio-technical and economic approach to this topic.
This research area is also of potential relevance to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office’s Official Development Assistance funding streams.