Realising local energy systems – co-benefits and infrastructure challenges

2018

Project Description

The development of more ‘local’ energy systems is a common goal in various UK, regional and local policy documents. More localised energy system design, planning and management is thought to offer various localised benefits in terms of health, skills, prosperity, carbon emissions and affordability. However, these co-benefits are not well understood or evidenced. In addition, the substantial expansion of such a system is argued to potentially undermine more centralised energy infrastructure, networks and their existing pricing mechanisms. This PhD will address these two discrete areas where knowledge is lacking – (1) measurement and verification of co-benefits and (2) tensions with centralised infrastructure maintenance and pricing. It will explore these two issues through development of a range of local energy scenarios demonstrating different levels and technology types of decentralised energy. It will provide policy relevant analysis supporting local actors (e.g. Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Community groups, Electricity North West) and national actors (BEIS, Ofgem) in determining and delivering their local energy ambitions.

Funding Notes

Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments of £17,500. Students with a first class/2.1 degree (or equivalent) with a background in engineering and physical sciences and Humanities, are encouraged to apply. 
UK / EU eligible candidates only (EU residents who have been resident in the UK for a minimum of 3 years) 
Applications will be reviewed as they are received until a candidate is selected; therefore candidates are encouraged to apply early. 

Further information

Image Credit : 
"Train in Leipzig" by Thomas Hassel (Flickr) is licensed under CC BY NC ND 2.0