Energy policy

Innovation in renewable energy technology, identification of barriers to growth and understanding how those barriers might be overcome is central to our research and teaching.  We actively pursue policy research across many areas, taking advantage of our links with the Energy Policy Group as well as taking advantage of our position within the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences to develop interdisciplinary work.

We have supported departmental research in wave energy with policy work in wave energy, with a particular focus on the innovation of new, more economically viable technology and the steps that will be necessary for the UK, and particularly the SW region to develop industrial capacity in marine renewable energy. To this end we have partnered with other institutions in the SW and beyond, including Cornwall Council, Cornwall Development Council, A&P Falmouth and Cornwall Marine Network.

Our policy research is diverse in nature and we are keen to leverage our focus on policy to partner with other institutions and companies with expert knowledge in different fields in order to produce mutually rewarding and socially relevant research.

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Current policy projects

Marine Renewable Energy in Far Peripheral and Island Communities

The policy element of the this multidisciplinary will comprise analysis of good practice in supporting marine renewable energy technologies in the UK and France with a view to encouraging cross border learning, the identification of stakeholder needs and engagement with stakeholders with the goal of opening up opportunities for a wider section of industry in Cornwall and the SW UK and in Brittany to access these growing markets. Partners include Cornwall Council, Plymouth University, Cornwall Marine Network in the UK and Ifremer, Technopôle and others in Brittany and Cornwall. The project is funded by the INTERREG IVA EU funding stream.

Smart Grid Scenarios:

This interdisciplinary project will work with a wide range of key stakeholders to develop a range of scenarios for the possible development of smart grids. Smart grids will be able to intelligently respond to the behaviour and actions of all electrical power users.  They offer clear potential to contribute to the UK’s policy goals of a transition to a low-carbon economy by transforming the way the UK produces, delivers and consumes energy as well as keeping the UK at the forefront of research into energy networks and services. Project partners are the University of Westminster, Cardiff University, Brunel University and the University of Nottingham. The project is funded by the UK Energy Research Centre.

Current PhD projects include

  • Quantifying Methods for an Innovation Systems Analysis of the Emerging UK Wave Energy Sector. This project is being carried out in partnership with the College of Life and Environmental Sciences and is supported by PRIMaRE.
  • Utilising Income from Anaerobic Digestion on Cornish Dairy Farms to Generate Funding for Investment in the Technology. The project is being carried out in partnership with North Wyke College and Cornwall Agro-Food Council and is supported by the European Social Fund.
  • Development of an optimization tool for the selection and dimension of energy systems and architectural parameters on buildings. The project is being carried out in partnership with Bath University and generously supported by the Wates Family Trust)
  • Organisational Development of Renewable Energy: Actor Network Theory and the Wave Hub (In partnership with the School of Business and Economics)