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Our vision is to make the UK a leader in understanding the changes in energy demand needed for the transition to a secure and affordable, low carbon energy system.

LAUNCH EVENT - 20th September 2018

Registration is now open for our launch event on 20th September at London's Central Hall, Westminster.
Our vision is to make the UK a leader in understanding the changes in energy demand needed for the transition to a secure and affordable low carbon energy system. Join our event to hear about the work already done and what is planned over the next five years to achieve our ambitious goals.
Registration required

Director's message

Welcome to the temporary website of the new UK Centre for Research on Energy Demand.

A comprehensive website is currently under development and will soon be accessible at www.creds.ac.uk. In the meantime, this temporary site provides the most important information about the new Centre.

Our vision is to make the UK a leader in understanding the changes in energy demand needed for the transition to a secure and affordable, low carbon energy system. Our ambitions are:

  • In impact: ensuring that high quality research (by ourselves and others) is taken up by businesses and policymakers;
  • In public discourse: opinion formers and the media show greater attention to energy demand issues.

To do this we will collaborate closely with key stakeholders in research, policy, business and wider society.

Introductory presentation to CREDS by Professor Nick Eyre

Nick Eyre

RESEARCH THEMES

Theme 1: Buildings

This theme focuses on the challenge of producing affordable, comfortable, healthy and productive building environments while reducing energy, carbon emissions and power demand by 20% by 2030.

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Theme 2: Transport

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Theme 3: Materials

To consider opportunities for reducin genergy demand in UK Industry.

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Theme 4: Flexibility

The Flexibility Theme aims to conceptualise and measure flexibility in energy demand and to assess the impacts of interventions which are designed to enhance flexibility.

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Theme 5: Digital Society

The Digital Society Theme is exploring the effects of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on energy consumption and carbon emissions.

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Theme 6: Policy and Governance

This theme will examine the policies for reducing demand further; the governance of energy demand; and how to integrate demand into supply policies.

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Challenge 1: Decarbonising Heat

Radical changes in technologies and practices at the point of end use, as well as in energy supply infrastructures, are required if heat is to be decarbonised. We will address this challenge as a major challenge within CREDS.

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Description of the Centre

The Centre is a new national hub for research on energy demand research. It began on the 1st April 2018 and will run for 5 years, with funding from UK Research and Innovation. It builds on the work of the existing six End Use Energy Demand Centres.

Energy demand reduction is a UK success story, with a 15% fall in final energy consumption since 2004. Major further reductions are possible and will be needed, as part of a transformation of the energy system to low carbon, to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement and UK carbon budgets. Moreover, a low carbon energy system will be increasingly reliant upon inflexible and variable electricity generation, and therefore demand will also need to become more responsive and use different fuels. In short, changes in energy demand reduction will need to go further and faster, and demand will need to become more flexible.

These challenges have far-reaching implications for technology, business models, social practices and policy. Our vision is for energy demand research in the UK to rise to these challenges. The Centre's ambition is to lead whole systems work on energy demand in the UK, collaborating with a wider community both at home and internationally. We aim to deliver globally leading research on energy demand, to secure much greater impact for energy demand research and to champion the importance of energy demand for delivering environmental, social and economic goals.

Our research programme is inter-disciplinary, recognising that technical and social change are inter-dependent and coevolve. It is organised into six Themes. Three of these address specific issues in the major sectors of energy use, namely: buildings, transport and industry. The remaining three address more cross-cutting issues that drive changing patterns of demand, namely the potential for increased flexibility, the move towards a digital society, and energy policy and governance.

Each Theme has a research programme that has been developed in discussion with key stakeholders and will provide the capacity for the Centre to inform debate, deliver impact and share knowledge in its specific area of work. The Themes will also undertake collaborative work, with our first joint task being to assess the role of energy demand in delivering the objectives of the UK Government's Clean Growth Strategy.

The Centre also includes Challenges that respond to cross-thematic questions for UK energy demand. These will be developed in consultation over the first year of the Centre, and therefore only one is included in the initial plan: on the decarbonisation of heat.

The Centre functions as a national focus for inter-disciplinary research on energy demand. In doing this it will need to respond to a rapidly evolving energy landscape. It therefore retains 25% of its funds to allocate during the lifetime of the Centre. These funds will support further challenges and a 'Flexible Fund', which will be used to support research on emerging research questions, in particular through support for early career researchers.

We are working closely with key stakeholders in business and policy to design our research programme and we plan detailed knowledge exchange activities to ensure that the work of the UK energy demand research community has broader societal impact.

The plans for the Centre are set out in a more detail in this presentation and on the theme and Challenge pages.