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Mr Richard Hoggett

Post Doctoral Research Fellow



Richard is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on SHIFFT (Sustainable Heating: Implementation of Fossil-Free Technologies) an Interreg 2 SEAS funded project.

He has worked within the sustainable energy sector for NGOs, local, regional and national government since 1996 and within academia since 2010. The early part of his career focused on the delivery of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects with local authorities, communities, schools and the general public. This included work for a community development trust in Stroud and Agenda 21 in Gloucestershire. From 1999 he worked for at the Centre for Sustainable Energy in Bristol delivering: a national energy education programme for schools; national pilots on behalf of the Energy Saving Trust to support local authorities on carbon reduction; and managing Community Action for Energy, the first Government funded attempt to engage and support the community sector on sustainable energy.

In 2005 Richard worked as a consultant on a range sustainable energy research projects covering: planning and design; fuel poverty; community renewables; renewable energy finance; carbon offsetting; low carbon skills; community development and climate change communications. This was for a wide range of clients in the third sector, public sector and business, including: sustainability charities; think tanks; energy supply and network companies; consumer groups; economic development companies; and national, regional and local government.

He joined Exeter University in 2010 initially as an Honorary Fellow and then as part of the Energy Policy Group, firstly as an Associate Research Fellow and then as a Research Project Manager on the IGov Project. He joined the Renewable Energy Group in EMPS in January 2020.

  • MSc Energy Policy and Sustainability
  • BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
  • BTEC HND in Agriculture

Research interests

Richard is interested in whole systems approaches to creating a sustainable, secure and affordable energy system. Specific interests include: heat decarbonisation; local energy; the role of people and communities within the energy system; innovation; governance; energy security; demand response and smart grids; supply chain analysis; UK and EU energy policy.

Current research

Sustainable Heating: Implementation of Fossil-Free Technologies (SHIFFT) (2019 – 2022)

SHIFFT is a cross-border project between the Netherlands, France, Belgium and the UK, to stimulate the adoption of low-carbon heating technologies in existing buildings. Space and water heating represent a large fraction of overall energy consumption across the EU and around one third of Europe’s carbon emissions. Dependence on fossil fuels has made the heat sector hard to decarbonise, but there is enormous potential to reduce emissions in the built environment by shifting to low carbon heating alternatives and improving by improving energy efficiency, but there are many barriers to overcome.
SHIFFT is seeking to enable locally based heating transitions to take place, through three work packages:

  • WP1 is developing guidance on how to develop city level sustainable heating strategies and is supporting four municipalities to produce their own heat strategy, including: the Belgian cities of Bruges and Mechelen, the Dutch city of Middelburg and the French city of Fourmies.
  • WP2 is focussed on the importance of co-creating sustainable heating solutions with citizen’s and communities. Guidance on co-creation processes and support to involve local people in the partner cities is being provided.
  • WP3 is installing exemplar examples of low carbon heating systems in each of the four INTERREG 2 Seas Member States. The aim is to capture and share learning from these developments.

More information on SHIFFT is available from the project website:

Previous research projects

IGov 2: Innovation and Governance for Future Energy Systems (2016 – 2019)

A key finding IGov 2 was to enable energy system to change, at the pace needed to tackle climate change, whilst also ensuring that the system remains secure, affordable and equitable, requires an effective framework of governance. Governance includes 'the policies, institutions, rules and incentives related to the energy system, and the underlying decision-making process which establishes those rules and incentives, including the ways people are involved’.

IGov showed that governance can enable or constrain the required energy system transformation and highlighted that the current governance framework for GB is not fit for the challenges ahead. Some examples of this included: no process for direction-setting or managing a process of decarbonisation, across government departments and agencies, and across different industrial sectors; the current arrangements favouring established players, who understand the complexities and have the resources to influence policies and regulatory processes; a clear lack of co-ordination across the energy system, both within electricity and between electricity, heat and transport; and inadequate protections for low-income households.

Given the framework of governance is outdated and in need of reform, IGov has carried out research and analysis to set out some key principles for change. Including: governance needs to be legitimate and transparent; people need to be put at the centre of the energy system; and regulation needs to be adaptive. From these principles IGov then put forward a number of recommendations for change, including a need to create an Energy Transformation Commission to implement objectives set by government, oversee the transformation process through co-ordinating all the institutions involved, and provide a hub for consultation and engagement. The other recommendations for change are all available on the IGov website:

IGov 1: Innovation, Governance and Affordability for a Sustainable Secure Economy (2012  - 2016)

Within IGov 1 we showed that the governance arrangements that are in place shape the design and implementation of regulations, markets and institutions. As such, in its widest sense, the governance framework is what ultimately shapes the way in which actors make money within the energy system, and it influences which actors, technologies and approaches are encouraged, undermined or excluded. Getting the governance system right is therefore a key aspect in enabling an effective energy transformation as it plays a central role in the technical, economic and social changes that occur.

An issue that became clear within the research is that whilst technology development and deployment races ahead, both infrastructure and regulation are lagging behind. This lag can slow down and undermine the low carbon transformation and increase its costs. IGov 1 argued that the current governance framework has slowed change in GB and continues to do so. Much of the value is still going to the ‘old’ system, in terms of existing technologies, system operation and actors. Also that there is a gap between rhetoric and practice, with energy policy often taking one step forward and two steps back in terms of move towards a sustainable, secure and affordable energy system.

Energy Security in Multipolar World Research Cluster

The energy security research cluster bought together three overlapping disciplinary research areas of expertise: energy policy, international relations and supply chains to examine: energy infrastructure; international relations in a multipolar world; supply chain analysis; delivery and availability of low carbon technologies; institutional changes required to deliver major cuts in energy demand; potential of individual and local actions to improve energy security; legal implications and possibilities. A final output from the ESMW cluster was a Palgrave book: New Challenges in Energy Security, further information is also available from: