3D printer

Grassroots innovation in low energy digital fabrication

Rapid advances in open-source, small-scale digital design and fabrication technologies are opening up new possibilities for decentralised, networked, user-led manufacturing. A confluence of new technologies (e.g. the 3-D printing ‘revolution’), new business models (e.g. ‘personalised manufacturing’), and new social movements (e.g. ‘open-source, commons-based, peer-production’), are prompting claims about the ‘reconfiguration’ of production and consumption. For …

train station at rush hour

Innovations in urban transport

Why do innovations in low-energy transport emerge and develop more rapidly in some cities than in others? What can local governments and stakeholders do to stimulate the success of such innovations?

Transforming the Low Energy Housing sector

“Insulation is not sexy. Energy efficiency is not sexy. Putting more insulation in your walls that you will never see and you will never even know is there, is not sexy.  But your bills are a bit lower,” said Alex Hunt, a sustainable building consultant and partner with Bright Green Homes. Is it time for …

Past Event

Warmer, Healthier and Fairer: Tackling Fuel Poverty

22 November, 2016 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Westminster, London

Dr Mari Martiskainen was one of the key speakers at ‘Warmer, Healthier and Fairer: Tackling Fuel Poverty’ event organised by Public Policy Exchange. Other key speakers at the event included MP Alan Whitehead, James Kerry, Senior Policy Advisor at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy as well as Paul Massara, member of the …

Makerspaces: Creating inclusive spaces for sustainable innovations

Making stuff is all the rage these days. But how does sustainable development fit into this enthusiasm? The White House is celebrating a Week of Making from June 16-23 2016 after hosting its first Maker Faire in 2014 to spark a “grassroots renaissance in American making and manufacturing“. The hope is that by exposing people …

Intermediary actors in low energy transitions

Intermediary actors can be crucial for bringing about low energy transitions. This blog explores what they are and provides some key insights about intermediaries in low energy transitions. It has long been recognised that changing the way we produce and use energy is of crucial importance to tackle the challenges related to depleting fuel resources and …

Tackling Fuel Poverty – Whose responsibility is it?

By Mari Martiskainen and Sarah Schepers, Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, November 2015 Fuel poverty – an issue affecting 2.35 million people in England alone, one that has wide-reaching causes and implications not only for those directly affected, but also for the wider society and economy. Annually, It costs the NHS approximately £1.36m as …

Past Event

CIED and the STEPS Centre co-host workshop on makerspaces and sustainable development

26 October, 2015 9:00 am - 27 October, 2015 3:00 pm
Machines Room, London

In order to discuss issues and identify strategies for makerspaces in sustainable development Professor Adrian Smith organised a two-day event on “How can makerspaces, fablabs and hackerspaces help cultivate sustainable developments?”.  The workshop, which was funded by CIED and co-hosted with the STEPS Centre, took place over two days in the Machines Room in London, …

Moving beyond products to material culture

BLOG 2 Prototyping or debating sustainable developments in makerspaces? Adrian Smith, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex September 2015 In the previous blog I introduced some of the diverse ways that makerspaces are helping cultivate sustainable developments. Admittedly, these initiatives do not represent the totality of makerspaces, where many projects and activities are oblivious …

Why should we seek sustainable developments in makerspaces?

BLOG 1 Why should we seek sustainable developments in makerspaces? Adrian Smith, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Community-based workshops like hackerspaces, fablabs and makerspaces, equipped with design, prototyping and fabrication tools have spread rapidly in recent years. Interest in the social, economic and environmental possibilities of these spaces has grown too. Amidst the …

Energy debates must not forget those less able to speak for themselves

Reflections from the 12th eceee summer study As Colin Nolden mentioned in his post yesterday,four members of the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand attended the eceee Summer Study held near Hyeres, south of France, during 1-6th June 2015. The bi-annual eceee’s Summer Study has been held since 1993 and it focuses on energy efficiency …

Why We Need to Shift Focus from Energy Supply to Reducing Demand

Mari Martiskainen asks whether it is time to have a real debate about moving our focus from energy supply to realising the benefits of energy efficiency. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported last week that the energy efficiency market was worth between $310 billion and $360 billion in 2011; thanks to energy efficiency improvements in …

Tackling the existing building stock as a real energy policy priority

By Mari Martiskainen and Florian Kern, Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, SPRU Those familiar with the UK’s energy efficiency policy for buildings are aware that back in 2006 the then Labour government announced that all new domestic buildings would need to be ‘zero carbon’ from 2016 to help meet the government’s energy and climate …

Makers, fixers and circular economies

The connection between grassroots making and fixing movements and innovation for low energy demand may not be immediately obvious. When thinking about energy demand and resource use it is reasonable to focus attention on immediate and intensive activities, such as heating homes or offices, or making energy-using products more efficient. However, if we think about …