Social influence and the European Green Deal

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The EU’s Green Deal is a comprehensive plan for policy, research, innovation and investment to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. Reaching net zero emissions is also a key criterion for the EU’s €750 billion recovery package from Covid-19 recessions. To support progress of the Green Deal, the EU’s information services organisation ‘CORDIS’ produced a results pack from frontier research … including […]

How new things spread – from viruses to low-carbon innovations

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Charlie Wilson gave a talk to the Oxford Energy Network on “How do new things spread? The diffusion of digital low-carbon innovations”. Charlie explored the many analogies between the underlying mechanisms of virus transmission – about which we’ve all sadly become armchair experts – and the underlying mechanisms of innovation diffusion. He then showed a range of new evidence from the SILCI project demonstrating the […]

Social networks and communication behaviour underlying smart home adoption

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Post written by Emilie Vrain A new article from the SILCI team published in ‘Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions’ demonstrates the importance of studying social networks and communication behaviour to provide insights into potential obstacles for rapid diffusion of low carbon innovations. Using smart home technology as a case study, this paper identifies marketing strategies and policy actions using social […]

Saving Energy – The Potential Is Great

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Or at least that’s how a web tool translates “Energie sparen – das Potenzial ist gross” from Swiss German into English! Charlie Wilson was interviewed by the Swiss national radio and television station, SRF, about his research on energy demand reduction as an essential climate mitigation strategy that avoids the risky bet on future negative emission technologies. You can listen […]

Potential Climate Benefits of Digital Consumer Innovations

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Do digital consumer innovations help reduce carbon emissions? The SILCI team scoured the literature for studies that quantified impacts on activity, energy, or emissions as a result of using digital consumer innovations. They focused on 33 innovations across mobility, food, homes and energy domains – ranging from shared ride-hailing apps and digital farmers’ markets to smart home technologies and ‘demand response’ (domestic appliances temporarily powering down when […]

Low-carbon innovations for managing the supply and use of energy in homes are likely to remain stuck in early-adopting market segments.

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In a recent review we find that innovations that build on home solar PV generation (e.g., electricity generation and storage, peer to peer electricity trading, vehicle to grid systems) fail to adequately challenge the incumbent model of passively using energy in the home. Their appeal is limited to a reduced set of core and non-core attributes which offer added value […]

Electric vehicles – government targets company fleets

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Hazel Pettifor a senior researcher with the SILCI team reflects on a new government incentive aimed at boosting electric vehicle adoption within company fleets.  From 2020 employees who opt for an EV through their company car scheme pay no benefit in kind (BIK) tax in 2020/21 and a reduced rate for two years following. The company car market remains a primary driver of new registrations for cars accounting for 8-9% of new vehicle registrations in 2018 (Department […]

Distributed & Digitalised Demand – The 3Ds of Clean Energy Transitions

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Charlie Wilson participated in an online conference hosted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as part of the Clean Energy Ministerial process launched alongside the Paris Climate Agreement. Due to take place in Berlin from March 25-27, the ‘International Forum on Long-Term Energy Scenarios’ was hastily converted to a virtual format – one of many […]

Are low-carbon innovations appealing?  A typology of functional, symbolic, private and public attributes

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A new paper published in Energy Research and Social Science by the SILCI team concludes low carbon innovations across four key consumer domains offer unique sources of added value over and above incumbent technologies. The paper draws on empirical research conducted by the team in Norwich.  Sixty seven people participated in a series of structured elicitation exercises, discussing and quantifying the […]