Director of CIED, Professor Benjamin Sovacool, and Research Fellows Dr Debbie Hopkins and Dr Mari Martiskainen are presenting research at the Energy Cultures Conference ‘Sustainable Energy Futures: Understanding Behaviour and Supporting Transition’ in Wellington, New Zealand, this week. The conference takes place on 6 and 7 July 2016 and is hosted by the Energy Cultures Research Group of University of Otago.
Prof Sovacool’s keynote, titled “The Nordic Low-Carbon Transition: Implications and Insights for Researchers and Practitioners”, outlines the potential for low carbon transition in five Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Sovacool said: “In a time of growing economies and accelerated emissions of greenhouse gases, it’s refreshing to know that some countries are still successfully decarbonizing. I hope to impart upon the conference delegates lessons that they can take away from ongoing transport, electricity, household, and industry transitions currently underway in Northern Europe.”
Dr Hopkins, who is also one of the conference organisers, presents research on urban freight delivery in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Hopkins said: “Freight transport energy demand and carbon emissions are often overlooked, yet global freight movements are expected to grow by 350% by 2050, and emissions are outweighing mitigation efforts. This qualitative research, which has just been published in Geoforum, points to the range of change trends that are affecting the freight industry and which may impact upon the capacity of industry actors to contribute to the required low carbon, sustainability transition”.
Dr Martiskainen’s presentation, titled “Low energy housing transition in the UK – the role of intermediaries in innovation processes”, focuses on intermediary organisations – who are neither inventors nor end-users of innovations – and their role in facilitating innovation processes in low energy housing. Martiskainen said: “Around 25% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the residential sector and in my talk I highlight the urgent need for improved housing in terms of both new build and existing homes. Our research shows that intermediary actors, such as annual Eco Open Houses events, which showcase sustainable homes and best practice, can inspire others and contribute to wider learning in this sector”.
Whilst in Wellington, Hopkins and Martiskainen will also contribute to a workshop organised by the International Energy Agency Demand Side Management Programme (IEA DSM). The IEA DSM Task 24 Workshop: Reframing the Energy System follows the Energy Cultures conference on 8 July and aims to re-frame energy for the 21st century especially in relation to helping those who work in addressing energy and behaviour change.