Our mission is to inform, enable, and accelerate progress towards a just zero-carbon energy system. We are motivated by interdisciplinary and scientifically excellent research that has major real-world impact on policy and practice, from local to global scales.
Our research focuses on the people, policies, technologies, and institutions that shape how and why energy is used, and the implications this has for energy networks and resources.
We take a socio-technical perspective that integrates both human and material dimensions to understand all four major drivers of change in the energy system: decarbonisation, decentralisation, democratisation, and digitalisation.
We work across all the major energy-using domains, particularly in buildings and transport, but also in firms and industry.
Our research projects can be grouped under one of four themes:
- Energy governance: We evaluate and learn about effective ways to govern and manage energy systems. Examples range from national government policies and local area planning to community initiatives and multi-actor partnerships.
- Energy pathways: We develop and model scenarios that show how a just zero-carbon energy system can be achieved. Examples range from low energy demand futures and low-carbon lifestyles to smart energy futures and net-zero pathways.
- Energy technologies: We trial and assess new technological solutions. Examples range from e-mobility and heat pumps to smart home technologies and local energy systems.
- Energy and society: We explore and strengthen the capabilities of people and organisations to play integral and equitable roles in the energy transition. Examples range from climate education and energy poverty alleviation to carbon capabilities and flexible demand.
Within each of these themes, we use diverse approaches, methods, and datasets from across the social and technical sciences that are matched to specific research needs. We collect and analyse both quantitative and qualitative data using methods such as field trials, systems thinking, ethnography, simulation modelling, expert interviews, and statistical analysis.
Project LEO (Local energy Oxfordshire)
Project LEO was an ambitious, wide-ranging and innovative energy trial, seeking to accelerate the UK’s transition to a zero-carbon energy system.
Energy Superhub Oxford
Energy Superhub Oxford (ESO) aims to eliminate 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year – the equivalent of taking 2,000 cars off the road.
Researchers from six European countries worked with clean energy communities to explore how they engage citizens, create value and share learning.
Pathways to a zero carbon Oxfordshire
Our analysis outlines three distinct pathways to eradicating emissions from the Oxfordshire economy.
iNumber: iNtelligent Urban Model for Built environment Energy Research
iNumber is a four-year research collaboration between India and United Kingdom to help cities reduce their energy demand and improve their electricity and water services.
M-Benefits: Valuing and communicating multiple benefits of energy-efficiency measures
M-Benefits created a method for companies to include the multiple benefits of energy efficiency in their investment assessment and decision-making.