The main goal of the RCUK Centre for Energy Epidemiology is to provide an evidence base for government and industry to support end use energy reduction across buildings and transport, so helping to deliver the UK's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the UK by at least 80% by 2050, relative to 1990 levels. In order to meet this main goal, the Centre will have the following inter-linked objectives:
To undertake a transformative research programme based on four mutually supportive work streams:
(i) measurement of the real world (Metrology);
(ii) a Data Framework to link and archive data monitored in the real world;
(iii) the application of novel techniques to support Analysis and Interpretation of the data, in turn supporting
(iv) the development of innovative Models.
Comparisons of data, models and theory will be undertaken at all scales from national to detailed case studies. Breakthroughs will come through unprecedented access to high frequency, e.g. minute-by-minute data from smart meters and ubiquitous sensor networks, and new insights from approaches that have proven highly successful in fields of public health, weather prediction, systems modelling, applied mathematics, etc. The four streams will support a limited number of focused, high-impact research projects that combine models (simple and complex) and data in innovative ways across sectors to address specific problems, for example to:
- Better understand cross-sectoral rebound and the provision of health, comfort, food, productivity and security with low system energy demand.
- Explore the potential for dynamic demand-side energy management through ICT and other technologies that will emerge from the decarbonisation and electrification of heat and personal transport.
- Construct a networked digital-analogue test facility.
- Examine how energy use in transport and buildings is linked to current and possible future patterns of occupation and mobility.
- Explore how end user behaviours, or changes in behaviour, might promote or hinder reductions in energy use.
- Identify policy, regulatory and commercial factors that might promote or hinder a reduction in energy use.
- Integrate spatial, sectoral and temporal data to better understand the provision of services (e.g. in health, education, retail, recreation) and develop models of interactions between buildings, transport, and other infrastructure, to build up a rich picture of how urban areas might evolve towards greater sustainability in terms of energy, lifestyles, land and water use, and adaptability to climate change.
- To obtain access to, curate, link and extract value from a diversity of 'big data' e.g. smart meter data, service station fuel statistics, GPS/SatNav, census data and energy performance statistics.
- To provide access to the data in a secure and ethical way to academic, government and industry researchers through an open environment for empirical testing of theory, policy and technology.
- To engage with and provide knowledge brokering for government, industry and academia to define problems, develop systems, support access to new datasets and develop and incorporate new analytical tools.
- Develop a coherent overarching End Use Energy Demand (EUED) research programme linked to the other Centres for EUED.
- Pursue impact through evidence-based engagement with government and industry, in particular with the Energy Efficiency Deployment Office at DECC.
- To extend the international lead in energy epidemiology that UCL-Energy has established through the co-ordination of an International Network of Energy Epidemiology and a Visiting Fellowship with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).
- Provide leadership in high quality interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral research in end use energy demand.