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 work

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.