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.
UKERC's research programme builds evidence to inform decisions that shape the UK's transition towards a net zero energy system and economy. It explores the potential economic, political, social and environmental costs and benefits of energy system change, and consider how these impacts can be distributed equitably. UKERC also hosts and curates energy data, maps and monitors public engagement, carries out systematic evidence reviews and improves the transparency and understanding of energy models.
Dr Christian Brand is a UKERC Co-Director and co-leads the 'Energy for Mobility' theme together with Professor Jillian Anable at the University of Leeds.
Why focussing on Energy for Mobility?
The transport sector is responsible for 40% of UK final energy consumption, 98% of which is fuelled by oil. Energy consumption in the transport sector peaked in 2007, but has increased by almost 6% since 2013. Sale of large cars such as SUVs are increasing at a much faster rate than EVs. Transport is simply the roadblock to decarbonisation.
Projects in this theme target areas where transport decarbonisation efforts are generating particularly acute technological and governance challenges for the energy system, especially at the local level.
Working with partners from policy, industry and NGOs, UKERC's whole systems approach is guiding six core research projects in the Energy for Mobility theme on:
- the readiness of the grid for EVs, with TSU/ECI researcher Dr James Dixon
- planning and governance of grid connectedness of new housing, led by Dr Gavin Killip in the ECI
- air quality and ecosystem impacts of transport electrification
- local energy and mobility transitions
- the geopolitics of biofuels for aviation and shipping
- global battery and vehicle supply chains
These core projects are complemented by collaborations with other UKERC themes and the CREDS research programme.
- Barrett, J., Pye, S., Betts-Davies, S., Brand, C., et al. (2022) Energy demand reduction options for meeting national zero-emission targets in the United Kingdom. Nature Energy.
- Dixon, J., Buksh, W., Bell, K. and Brand, C. (2022) The impact of plug-in frequency on the potential of vehicle to grid to support transport and electricity system decarbonisation. eTransportation. 100180.
- Brand, C., Dekker, H.J. and Behrendt, F. (2022) Cycling, climate change and air pollution. In, Advances in Transport Policy and Planning. Elsevier.
- Brand, C., Götschi, T., Dons, E., Gerike, R., Anaya-Boig, E., Avila-Palencia, I., de Nazelle, A., Gascon, M., Gaupp-Berghausen, M., Iacorossi, F., Kahlmeier, S., Int Panis, L., Racioppi, F., Rojas-Rueda, D., Standaert, A., Stigell, E., Sulikova, S., Wegener, S. and Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J. (2021) The climate change mitigation impacts of active travel: Evidence from a longitudinal panel study in seven European cities. Global Environmental Change, 67. 102224.
- World-class energy research to drive a net zero future, School of Geography and the Environment News, 21/02/20.