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  • Net Zero: The role of domestic building energy efficiency
    16:00 -18:30
    21-01-2020

    Speaker: Tadj Oreszczyn (UCL)

    This presentation will review how and why energy demand has changed in the UK domestic stock over the last 50 years. What can we do to better predict energy use in buildings in the future? Based on this review, what role may domestic energy efficiency play in helping the UK achieve net zero in the next three decades?

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  • Energy Policy in the Age of Climate Change: Recent experience and challenges ahead
    16:00 -17:30
    23-01-2020

    Speaker : Professor Jim Watson (UCL Institute of Sustainable Resources)
    This lecture will reflect on changes in UK energy policy since the early 2000s, when the first long term emissions target was proposed in the 2003 Energy White Paper. The UK is already well on the way to meeting that target, which required a 60% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. In the meantime, many changes have affected the energy sector: climate science has highlighted the need for more urgency and ambition; technologies that were previously expensive have fallen in cost; politics at home and abroad are subject to increasing uncertainty and turmoil – including the UK’s relationship with Europe and the rest of the world. Despite progress with reducing emissions, there is still a long way to go to meet the new target of a net zero energy system and economy by 2050. The lecture will discuss some of the successful policies that have driven emissions reductions so far, mainly in electricity. It will also highlight the range of difficult challenges policy makers will need to address if the net zero target is to be met

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  • Low-carbon well-being is political: Findings from the Living Well Within Limits project
    11:00 -12:00
    27-01-2020

    Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

    Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ

    Speaker: Prof Julia Steinberger, University of Leeds

    Registration: Please email info@inet.ox.ac.uk to confirm your attendance.

    Abstract: This seminar will report on several streams of research within the “Living Well Within Limits” project. The Living Well Within Limits project investigates the energy requirements of well-being, from quantitative, participatory and provisioning systems perspectives. In this presentation, Prof Steinberger will communicate individual and cross-cutting findings from the project, and their implications for the sustainability research community. In particular, she will share the projects most recent results on the international distribution of energy footprints by country, consumption category, and income classes, as well as results on the national characteristics that enable high well-being at low energy use. She will show that achieving low-carbon well-being, both from the beneficiary (“consumer”) and supply-chain (producer) sides, involves strong distributional and political elements. Simply researching this area from a behaviour, social practices or economic lens is insufficient to draw out the reasons for poor outcomes and most promising avenues for positive change. She thus argues for a much stronger political economyperspective in sustainability research.

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  • An Empirical Analysis of the Fiscal Incidence of Renewable Energy Support in the European Union
    16:00 -18:00
    28-01-2020

    Speaker: Dr Lawrence Haar (Brookes University, Oxford)

    In liberalised energy markets, electricity from Renewable Energy (RE) using Solar PV and Wind Turbines requires financial support because the expected number of generation hours is insufficient to induce private investment. Such support has a direct cost from the additional expenditure over what would have been incurred had fossil fuel generation been used and indirect costs arising from the random and distributed nature of the RE output. Comparing European Union countries between 2007 and 2017, we find the pricing structure of retail electricity is regressive and correlated to reliance upon RE. Although initially, the direct and indirect costs of RE affects integrated utilities and aggregators, the ultimate burden largely falls upon lower income cohorts. Given policy objectives for RE, these finding are worrisome. Though as a society we may benefit from reducing dependence upon fossil fuels, the burden of this transition falls upon those with the lowest income, raising questions over fairness. Explaining the reasons for fiscal regressiveness leads to normative suggestions on how it may be redressed.

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February