DEMAND: Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand is one of 5 RCUK End User Energy Demand Research Centres and is sponsored by EPSRC/ESRC with support from partners EDF-Energy, Transport for London and the International Energy Agency. The Centre is led by the Universities of Lancaster & Leeds and besides Southampton also involves researchers from Aberdeen, Reading, Birmingham, UCL, Sussex, Manchester and Sheffield. It started on May 1st 2013 and is currently funded until 2018.
The Centre has five main research themes:
- Trends and patterns of energy demand
- How end use practices change
- Managing infrastructures of supply and demand
- Normality, need and entitlement
It’s main objective is to re-configure our understanding of everyday energy use to focus on “what energy is for”. Thus rather than analysing ‘energy used’ the Centre will analyse the habits and practices (and especially their timings) through which energy use/demand is ‘created’ because it is these habits and practices that need to change if society is to be significantly de-energised and de-carbonised. The problem is that we lack a sophisticated understanding of how these trends take hold and of the underlying dynamics of demand itself. In focusing on how demand is made and met, the Centre will examine changing patterns in mobility and building-related energy use and take forward a wide-ranging agenda for future research and policy.
Intended outcomes include new insights, knowledge for policy, commercial strategy and academic empirical/theoretical development. There may also be innovations around data capture and analysis methods (aligned with the Liveable Cities project). We also intend to feed the insights/knowledge into the Faculty’s technological/engineering innovation activities in the expectation that combining socio-technical insights with technical/engineering innovation will lead to substantially new solutions to the problem of how to sustainably generate, distribute and consume energy.
We will have an extensive knowledge transfer/impact programme which we hope can involve the wider research community here at Southampton, including the opportunity for short term (funded) internships to support data analysis, research student involvement in workshops etc through further engagement with Southampton’s Energy USRG.
Southampton Contact: Dr Ben Anderson