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Publically funded energy technology research is critical for a successful low–carbon energy transition, but future uncertainty means decision–making is difficult. This Review explores the role of expert elicitations, integrated assessment models and decision frameworks in informing energy technology policy.
Shale gas and oil production and prospective development are increasing, but methods for shale extraction (‘fracking’) have been met with opposition. This study shows that informed discourse around shale development focussed on risks or doubts about benefits in a similar manner across the US and UK.
To tackle the high energy consumption of buildings, information programs to promote investment in energy efficiency measures have been introduced. This study compares the effectiveness of three US programs and finds that despite large energy savings, progress is lacking for small and medium sized buildings.
Achieving the global goals of the Paris Agreement requires ambition beyond what is currently contemplated by most governments. This study, based on long-term analysis for the UK, illustrates the challenge of achieving net-zero emissions and the need for a radical re-framing of national climate targets.
Alternative energy is widely believed to proportionally displace fossil fuels. Here, the authors analyse displacement values for China between 1995 and 2014 and show that alternative energy, primarily hydropower, displaced ∼1/4 of a unit of fossil electricity, twice the global average.
This paper presents interrelated indicators for tracking progress towards the Paris Agreement. Findings show broad consistency with keeping warming below 2 °C, but technological advances are needed to achieve net-zero emissions.
Oil and gas extraction via hydraulic fracturing is controversial, with government support but mixed public opinion. Deliberative research shows that securing public support may be difficult because citizens in the United States and United Kingdom are sceptical of government and industry motives.
Public fears of nuclear power are widespread, especially in the aftermath of accidents, yet their benefits are rarely fully considered. A new study shows how the closure of two nuclear power plants in the 1980s increased air pollution and led to a measurable reduction in birth weights, a key indicator of future health outcomes.
Various programmes have been introduced to increase energy efficiency in buildings. A study of commercial buildings in Los Angeles, USA, now finds that voluntary certification programmes have been effective at lowering energy use, bringing savings of up to 30%.