Energy Systems

Every part of our society depends on energy. Decarbonising the energy system requires a balance of economic and societal objectives with the imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Energy in Society is the study of the relationship between energy systems and society and directly addresses the challenges posed by the global transition to a sustainable, equitable energy future. The research activity of Energy in Society aims to measure, analyse, and understand consumer behaviour, public acceptance, technology shifts, market design, policy measures, and investments required to realise a transition to a low-carbon energy system. It draws on theoretical knowledge and methodological approaches from various disciplines, such as economics, psychology, and marketing, while actively seeking collaboration with related disciplines such as geography, marketing, and spatial planning. At the cutting edge of social science research on energy, we are creating new ideas and perspectives to the ways we understand flexible demand, energy efficiency, the changing role of individuals and communities as consumers and producers of energy, energy finance and markets and climate change mitigation policy in the energy sector. We explore:

  • The economics of energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change policy
  • Drivers of consumer behaviour and technology adoption
  • Consumers and community acceptance of energy infrastructure and policies
  • Estimation of the impact of distributed generation on energy markets and systems
  • Assessment of carbon pricing measures
  • The impact of energy efficiency improvements on the wider economy and other multiple benefits
  • Evaluation of mitigating risks in integrated energy systems