Prof Peter Connor

Research Interests

Dr Peter Connor researches and teaches in the area of national renewable energy policy and regulation. He has a particular interest in the design and implementation of policy and regulation as it impacts on renewable energy sources of electricity and heat within the UK and at the level of EU Member States. He is also interested in policy and regulation as it applies to the technologies and behaviours relating to enabling measures for renewable energy such as those concerned with smarter delivery of energy.  Peter was Exeter lead on the recently completed ‘RES-H Policy’ project and is currently developing the outputs into a special edition of Energy Policy journal entitled ‘Renewable Heat Policy’ which will be published shortly. The project was established to assist EU Member States in addressing all aspects relating to renewable heating and cooling, to assist in defining sector specific targets and to provide advice on how to achieve them.

Peter is the University of Exeter’s Principal investigator on the Merific project (Marine Renewable Energy in Far Peripheral and island Communities). Merific is a €4.6 million project funded through the INTERREG IVa programme with partners in Cornwall and Brittany. It is a multidisciplinary project with input from a diverse group of Exeter academics. Peter will lead on policy and regulatory issues relating to renewable energy, on developing a stakeholder database and on seeking stakeholder input into the project. The project also contains core research strands which move forward the work of PRIMaRE and further advance CSM’s work in overcoming the technical challenges for marine renewable, with a particular focus on moorings and resource assessment. The project will also work to develop a structural simulation of the marine sector to maximise the learning benefits from the project (Childe) and adds further depth to the work carried out in Exeter’s Biosciences department, in considering the environmental impacts of marine renewable energy.

Peter is also working to develop ‘Scenarios for the Development of Smart Grids in the UK’ as part of a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary project supported by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). This project aims to advance understanding of Smart Grid deployment and utilisation through a programme of novel empirical research, developing and evaluating a number of socio-technical scenarios. Particular consideration will be given to key transition points in alternative possible scenarios, and spatial differences in the deployment of SGs and related technologies up to 2050. The work will build the interaction of different stakeholders into the scenario-development process to incorporate pace and scalability of technology deployment, cost and finance, organisational business models involved, regulatory style, the role of users, and international drivers and linkages.