- Explore the nexus of travel demand, energy use, air quality and carbon emissions at the individual, household, city and national levels;
- Examine the emergence and development of innovations that are expected to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions in passenger and freight transport;
- Understand how transport systems and practices can be made more resilient to climate change;
- Explore different long-term futures for low-carbon and resilient transport systems;
- Develop and apply multi-scale decision support systems and modelling tools;
- Make a practical contribution to policy making in the transport, climate, air quality and energy domains.
Current research projects
The project aim is to understand the potential of existing and new forms of e-micromobility, including identifying the people, places and circumstances where they will be most useful, in order to reduce mobility-related energy demand and carbon emissions while improving people's health.
The Climate Compatible Growth (CCG) programme is funded by the UK's Foreign Development and Commonwealth Office to support investment in sustainable energy and transport systems to meet development priorities in the Global South.
European cities' attempts to accelerate the transition to electric mobility (EM) are generating environmental benefits and enhancing economic viability. Unclear is how socially just these attempts and their outcomes are in terms of who benefits (distribution), whose needs are considered (recognition), and who gets to decide and how (procedure).
The fourth phase of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) (UKRI support: £18 million) is undertaking world-class research on the decarbonisation of key sectors such as industry, transport and heat, and exploring the role of local, national and global changes in energy systems.
Global and Local Health Impact Assessment of Transport (GLASST): methods for prioritising model development
Transport is a major contributor to determinants of population health. Adverse health impacts are greatest in rapidly urbanising and motorising lower and middle income country cities.
The transition to electric mobility will have significant impacts on energy infrastructure systems. On the other hand, urban development plays a crucial role in determining where the need may arise for electric vehicles (EVs) and their charging infrastructure. Yet to date, the interaction and dependency of energy infrastructure and urban development, alongside the impacts of EV policies, within different institutional contexts remain insufficiently explored.
The FAIR (Fuel and trAnsport poverty In the UK’s energy tRansition) project will examine the intersections between fuel and transport poverty, and low carbon energy transitions, in the UK. Fuel poverty has been defined as the inability to secure materially- and socially-necessitated energy services, such as heating a home or using appliances. Transport poverty is the enforced lack of mobility services necessary for participation in society, resulting from the inaccessibility, unaffordability or unavailability of transport.
UK fleet models account poorly for potential for flexibility and the spatial and temporal differences. National scale energy models and local-level distribution network models need to ‘meet in the middle’ to understand how changes in demand and generation in the distribution network will impact the transmission network and vice versa. General Distribution and Electricity Transmission Network models need better assessments of where and when high-end domestic and electric vehicle use will combine.
Recent research projects
Research on digitalisation and its manifold implications for social justice and environmental integrity has been gaining momentum in recent years. Various studies have shown that current forms of digitalisation tend to accelerate economic and social inequalities while environmental costs outweigh environmental benefits. Hence, the need for societal and political action to reshape digitalisation is becoming increasingly clear. But what are core elements of a sustainable digitalisation that contribute to deep sustainability transformations, and how can these be implemented?
Advances in vehicle connectivity and autonomy have increased speculation around the future of the car. Dominated by techno-economic views, these debates currently tend to overemphasise the scale, speed and benefits of a shift to connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs). 'Non-technical' factors (e.g., costs, regulatory frameworks, public acceptance) are typically seen as presenting the main barriers to deployment. Such accounts fail to recognise how cultural, institutional and everyday practices will shape CAV developments.
The purpose of this project is to develop an alternative path to electric vehicle ownership and use for households without sufficient or appropriate parking to charge electric vehicles from their homes. Park and Charge (PnC) aims to deliver a new technological and business model design via an easy-to-use, car-park-based service.
The energy storage capacity of electric vehicles (EVs) presents new opportunities and value propositions for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power system services. Potential benefits could include the alleviation of the need for generation and transmission investments and increases in network efficiency and energy security. These benefits arise as V2G technologies enable EVs to deliver electricity from their batteries back into the smart grid which can then be used to power homes and businesses.
Automated vehicles (AVs) could represent the most profound technological change in road transport since the rise of mass production, with reductions in energy demand being one of the many anticipated benefits. Expectations about the effects of AVs on transport systems, including their impacts on energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, are currently soaring. However, there is considerable uncertainty because 1) AV technology is developing rapidly and needs to be embedded in existing mobility systems, 2) automobility is also in flux for factors beyond automation, and 3) AV adoption is in its infancy.
Transport is responsible for around a quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and and thereby has an important role to play in carbon reduction efforts. Around the world, academic institutions have become aware of their contributions to GHG emissions, seeking to reduce emissions associated with institutional activities. Yet, to date, little action has been taken to systematically monitor or reduce the emissions associated with academic flying.