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Research Associate at the Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI), University of Manchester

Dr Victoria Johnson is Research Associate at the Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI), University of Manchester. She is an experienced interdisciplinary and widely published researcher in the fields of climate change and energy policy at the domestic and international level. To date, she has led or contributed over 35 policy-relevant publications in these fields. Her principal research interests relate to the mechanisms and societal implications of socio-technical transitions across a range of spatial scales with a particular reference to power, agency, social justice and international development. Based at the SCI, she is primarily comparing patterns of diffusion of low-energy technologies (district heating, light-rail networks, and Passivhaus) in the UK with other European countries. Victoria joined the SCI and CIED in September 2014 from the Low Carbon Research Institute of Wales, based at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University. Here her work focussed historical transitions in the UK energy sector and institutional transformation necessary for distributed low-carbon electricity generation in the UK. Between 2007 and 2012 Victoria led the research programme on climate change and energy policy at leading independent think tank, NEF (New Economics Foundation). She holds a PhD in Atmospheric Physics from Imperial College, a MSc (awarded with distinction) in Climate Change and a BSc in Environmental Sciences, both from the University of East Anglia.

Victoria Johnson


pump installation
Learning about diffusion from experiences in other countries

European countries have seen some low-energy innovations, like district energy systems in Austria, gain popularity. What lessons can be learned from these examples about how to overcome inertia and cause diffusions to accelerate, leading to tipping points and breakthroughs?