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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R014965/1
Title: End Use Energy Demand Research Champion
Principal Investigator: Eyre, Dr NJ
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Environmental Change Institute SoGE
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 July 2017 Ends: 31 March 2018 Value (£): 122,585
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy Efficiency
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
23 Jun 2017 EUED Champion 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
After a century of relatively slow technical change in energy systems, it is now clear that mitigating climate change will require a systemic energy transformation in a few decades. And rapid progress is being made with some highly-distributed technologies, most notably those deployed at the point of end use. This raises the prospect of energy systems in which diverse, distributed technologies and actors play a much larger role than they have previously in modern energy systems. In turn, this generates many research questions for energy end use research in technology, business models, social change and governance. End use energy demand (EUED) research therefore needs to respond.

Older challenges of incremental efficiency improvement and demand reduction remain important in meeting the short term goals of the energy trilemma. Academic research can contribute to their delivery, but only if makes an impact on policy and business decisions.

However, if challenging goals for carbon emissions reduction are to be met, more fundamental demand side changes are needed. EUED research needs to focus much more on transformative innovations, for example the role of disruptive demand side technologies and business models in balancing inflexible and intermittent supply; the potential of nano-technology and other new materials to change energy demand, and the impacts of the digital economy, through increased energy use in ICT, its application to improve efficiency and accompanying changes in energy using practices.

The project therefore has a twofold vision for EUED research in the UK is twofold: to deliver an exciting research agenda for EUED in the new context of the energy transition; and to secure much greater impact for EUED research in addressing urgent energy system challenges.

This project seeks to develop that vision for EUED research in the UK through the development of a single EUED Centre in the 9 month period July 2017 to March 2018. The work will be undertaken in four phases.

First there will be a consultation phase. The process will commence immediately following the award of the grant by EPSRC. There will be discussions with the Research Councils, followed by consultation with the research community and with business and policy stakeholders, based on the vision set out above. This will lead to definition of a thematic structure for the Centre.

Secondly, there will be a Centre design phase. There will be an open call for Expressions of Interest in leadership for each theme of the Centre. This will be followed by discussions with applicants, leading to selection of the theme leaders as a management team for the Centre.

Thirdly, the Centre proposal will be developed. There will detailed consultation within the management team and on the emerging proposals with key stakeholders. This will lead to a workshop to design the Centre and theme work plans, including 2-3 cross-cutting challenges and the work of the coordination node of the Centre.

Finally there will a Centre development phase. The will begin in parallel with the bid development, by assessing the outputs of the existing EUED Centres. The period after bid submission will be used to develop an understanding of the integrated findings of the existing EUED Centres; to have discussions about candidates for the Centre Advisory Board; to develop proposals for additional challenges to those in the bid, via stakeholder discussions and a challenges workshop for the EUED community; and to start the prospective first challenge on the decarbonisation of heat in the UK.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Impacts
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Summary
Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk