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In Search of 'Good' Energy Policy - Videos and Media

The In Search of ‘Good’ Energy Policy seminar series is part of the Research Networks supported and hosted at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH). It explores energy policy themes from different disciplinary perspectives including: economics, history, philosophy, theology, politics, law, anthropology, psychology, and engineering. The aim of the series is to identify principles and processes for ‘good’ energy policy making with an emphasis on the contributions of different disciplines to ‘good’ policy formulation.

Seminars are held every fortnight during term time. The seminars are open to staff and students from the University of Cambridge, the public, and members of other organisations, industry and government. Each seminar includes a main speaker and a respondent from another discipline, followed by Q&A and a discussion open to all participants. 

Scroll down for the current 2018-2019 Speaker Interviews and Seminar audios.
Media for past years: 2017-20182016-2017 and 2015-2016.

For more information about future In Search of ‘Good’ Energy Policy seminars, please visit the Energy@Cambridge's Events listings for all University of Cambridge energy related seminars and events.

 

2018-2019

Seminar 11 | 4 June 2019 | In Search of ‘Good’ Energy Policy book panel discussion

Seminar 10 | 21 May 2019 | Is there a Lack of Incentives to Invest in Energy Efficient Buildings?

Seminar 9 | 23 April 2019 | UK heat transition

Seminar 8 | 26 February 2019 | Emergence and control in UK energy democratisation

Seminar 7 | 12 February 2019 | Hydropower development in China

Seminar 6 | 29 January 2019 | In search of invisible energy policy

Seminar 5 | 15 January 2019 | Energy efficient cities

Seminar 4 | 27 November 2018 | The Recovery of natural environments in architecture

Seminar 3 | 13 November 2018 | Contestation, contingency, and justice in the Nordic low-carbon energy transition

Seminar 2 | 30 October 2018 | Past and prospective transitions in the UK gas industry – some interdisciplinary insights

Seminar 1 | 16 October 2018 | Evolving houses, demanding practices: A case of rising electricity consumption of the middle class in Pakistan 

  

2018-2019

Seminar 11 | | 4 June 2019 | In Search of ‘Good’ Energy Policy book panel discussion

Panellists: Chair: Dr Marc Ozawa (NATO, Italy), University of Cambridge: Professor Michael Pollitt, Jim Platts, Dr Jonathan Chaplin, Dr David Reiner, Tim Reilly, Dr Leslie-Anne Paoli-Duvic (King's College London), Charlotte Johnson (UCL) and Professor Victor Li (University of Hong Kong), 

Full seminar audio

 

Seminar 10 | | 21 May 2019 | Is there a Lack of Incentives to Invest in Energy Efficient Buildings?

Speaker: Professor Franz Fuerst, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge
Respondent: Jim Platts, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

Prof Fuerst’s research explores the nexus between the property market and energy efficiency and sustainability. It deals with how energy efficiency improvement in buildings cannot be achieved without including the broader real estate investment in energy efficiency itself. Both energy efficiency and sustainability are largely correlated with better buildings and other desirable features in general, which is attractive for building owners and users. However, this provides a challenge in disentangling the data and isolating the energy efficiency impact for researchers.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

Seminar 9 | | 23 April 2019 | UK heat transition

Speaker: Lauren Stabler, Global Sustainability Institute (GSI), Anglia Ruskin University
Respondent: Dr Vassilis Charitopoulos, EPRG, University of Cambridge

Heating in the UK accounts for 30% of Green House Gas emissions and half of the UK energy consumption. There is a broad range of literature on Transition research, which Lauren Stabler has reviewed through the inter-disciplinarity of the field, which has led to a diverse set of findings. This includes the dynamics of Transitions, understanding the complex societal systems and heat systems, whereby diffusion of innovation is non-linear.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

Seminar 8 | 26 February 2019 | Emergence and control in UK energy democratisation

Speaker: Dr Iain Soutar, Department of Geography, University of Exeter
Respondent: Dr Sander van der Linden, Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

Dr Iain Souter highlights the four Ds, decarbonisation, decentralisation, digitalisation and democratisation, of energy systems, which combined have the potential to profoundly affect the speed and direction of the system as a whole. All four are interconnected and co-evolutionary, whereby change in one trend line will affect changes in other trend lines.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

Seminar 7 | 12 February 2019 | Hydropower development in China

Speaker: Dr Yan Zhang, POLIS, University of Cambridge
Respondent: Jim Platts, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

Dr Zhang's research explores policy making in China with regards to renewable energy and hydropower, using her definition of policy co-evolution within an institutional framework. This combines; complexity (including different stakeholders), dynamic (piloting, scale-up and experimentation) and adaptive capacity. 

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

Seminar 6 | 29 January 2019 | In search of invisible energy policy

Speaker: Dr Sarah Royston, DEMAND centre, University of Sussex
Respondent: Dr Paul Warde, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

Sarah Royston's research has looked across different sectors, whereby non-energy policies are affecting the energy system as a whole. Research steps included intensely qualitative to advanced quantitative methodologies to understand how to measure affects of policy. One example of the study finds the marketisation of higher education has led to a focus on student university experience, which lends to the trend for new buildings, luxury accommodation and increased space.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

Seminar 5 | 15 January 2019 | Energy efficient cities

Speaker: Dr Ruchi Choudhary, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

Ruchi Choudhary's project research focus is on the bulk of existing UK residential building stock, which remains unchanged for quite some time with regards to reducing emissions. Changing the emissions due to heating requirements need acknowledgement of cost for carbon benefit as well as health benefit, that cannot be borne by a simple payback period. 

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

Seminar 4 | 27 November 2018 | The Recovery of natural environments in architecture

Speaker: Professor Alan Short, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
Respondent: Professor David Newbery, Energy Policy Research Group, University of Cambridge

Professor Shots discusses his research on developing passive and hybrid low-energy design strategies for non-domestic buildings in different climates, with a focus on cooling. He notes that mechanical cooling was unusual in Britain in the 1950s and late 1920s in the USA.

Full seminar audio

 

Seminar 3 | 13 November 2018 | Contestation, contingency, and justice in the Nordic low-carbon energy transition

Speaker: Professor Benjamin Sovacool, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex
Respondent: Dr Jing Meng, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge

Nordic countries represent a good template to help decarbonise, with a hidden lesson going beyond energy and buildings. This is in transport and mobility (freight, shipping and aviation) and require whole new innovations, where the final options have not yet been selected. The Nordic case underlines the necessity for comprehensive governmental intervention and supporting policies at municipal levels, where system stakeholders are aligned in favour for decarbonisation.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

Seminar 2 | 30 October 2018 | Past and prospective transitions in the UK gas industry – some interdisciplinary insights

Speaker: Professor Peter Pearson, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Imperial College London
Respondent: Dr David Reiner, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Professor Peter Pearson discusses the history and future of the UK gas industry by the six transitions of gas. This helps to understand the energy sector challenges as it moves to low carbon.  The transitions span the coal-gas installation at industrial scale for lighting in the textile industry (18th Century), to ‘urban pipes network’ for gas distribution (1812), nationalisation (1948), gas from oil in the 1960s and the Climate Change Act in 2008.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio

 

Seminar 1 | 16 October 2018 | Evolving houses, demanding practices: A case of rising electricity consumption of the middle class in Pakistan

Speaker: Rihab Khalid, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge
Respondent: Dr Shailaja Fennell, Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge

Rihab Khalid discusses the historical analysis of practise arrangements in the homes of Lahore to help recognise and prevent normalisation of societal standards defining an energy intensive and unsustainable ‘perfect’ home. The three key findings are; a shift of outdoor to indoor activities; inwards to outward oriented home design and spatial dispersion.

Speaker interview

Full seminar audio