What consequences does the decentralisation of energy production have for local energy demand?


Dr Matt Watson, Department of Geography
m.watson@sheffield.ac.uk | +44 (0)114 2227911


Dr Alastair Buckley, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Grantham Scholar

Katie Sumner

The UK currently relies on fossil fuels for 84.5% of its energy production. Fossil fuels are finite (ie, they will eventually run out) and also contribute significantly to climate change. If we are to achieve future energy security and reduce carbon emissions, it is essential that alternative methods for energy production are implemented. Current plans centre on a large-scale switch to renewable energy technologies which will result in an energy system that relies on numerous, but smaller-scale energy production sites spread across the UK: the ‘decentralisation’ of energy production.

However there has been little research into how the patterns and practices of energy demand relate to the way in which renewable technologies make energy available. Without fully understanding how these technologies can match the demand for energy, they might not achieve their potential.

This project will focus on one case study town to examine, through interviews, focus groups and observations, how renewable technologies affect energy demand at a local scale. The technical performance and economic impact of renewable technologies will also be analysed to produce research that will help renewable technologies to be implemented across the UK.

Contact: Katie Sumner, k.sumner@sheffield.ac.uk