To date, the global economy has typically been driven by fossil fuels. As the world transitions to a low-carbon economy there are numerous issues which need to be overcome to ensure this is rapid and effective, while also being just and sustainable.
This area of research is particularly interdisciplinary, working with technology development and innovation in engineering and geosciences focused on systems: energy systems, transport systems, but also innovation systems. We contribute to the connection between policy, technology, and capital which aims to decarbonise existing institutions and systems, as well as establish a green and renewable-driven economy.
Indicative Research Projects
- In relation to urban transport, Covid-19 has been a 'forced experiment' in how we allocate urban space between cars and all other forms of more sustainable transport. How can we build upon this experience to create more sustainable and liveable cities?
- Smart technologies (cities and buildings) are increasingly being designed and built to implement high-technology, low-carbon solutions. How can these be designed best, and what human behaviours must change to make these successful?
- Exploring immediate and near-term societal/personal benefits to sustainable choices on energy consumption in the home.
- Energy systems and electricity generation must decarbonise and be redesigned to achieve a low-carbon transition. We explore the businesses and institutions driving decentralisation, renewable generation, and energy efficiency innovation.
- We examine business models and policy incentives to apply carbon capture and storage and hydrogen technologies in energy and industry use, including power, cement, steel, and refinery sectors. We undertake techno-economic analyses for carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and other negative emissions technology, such as biomass with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to accelerate climate mitigation effort.
- Adopting circular economy approaches is likely to be both necessary as well as profitable in the resource-poor world. However, with the imbalance of resources distributed globally, it is also important to understand where and how we can use some resources efficiently while the transition continues.
- The social and distributive effects of the shift to a low-carbon economy have the potential to either derail the process, or lead to negative consequences as entire industries and categories of jobs disappear, and communities are forever changed. We explore the potential wider society effects of such a transition, to inform both government and business policy, as well as other institutional support mechanisms, to minimise the human and community impact.