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Understanding the Energy Transition

With its partners, the Suffolk Sustainability Institute is supporting doctoral research into the energy transition. If you are involved in energy projects in the private, public or charitable/voluntary sectors please take part in our online survey.

The survey should take you no longer than twenty minutes to complete, and covers the following areas:

· Whether and what investment energy technologies your organisation has invested in

· How your organisation makes energy technology investment decisions

· Measuring the performance of your energy technology investments.

Your participation is totally voluntary. Please read, How we ensure your information is managed appropriately, to see how we will ensure that your personal information is safe, secure and kept confidential.

Please feel free to share the survey link with colleagues in or outside your organisation if they are involved in similar energy technology projects. The final results of the research will be freely available with a copy downloadable from the Suffolk Sustainability Institute website or by e-mailing the researcher, Peter Gudde.

What this research hopes to understand

Since the energy transition in the UK is creating space for new participants to invest, own or manage local energy technologies, there is a need to understand their motivations to play a part in the system transition. By focussing on the private, public and charitable/voluntary sectors, this research is seeking to understand how organisations make decisions about their investment in energy technologies such as solar photovoltaics (PV), heat pumps, battery storage, electric vehicles or wind turbines.

How is the research being undertaken?

A three-stage research process is being followed comprising of an online survey, telephone interviews and panel discussions to gather detailed insight. Evidence will be collected from the public, private and third sectors about their energy-related investment decisions. Part of the research process will use a Delphi-type technique exploring a common investment decision-making framework across the three sectors.

This research is part of a wider doctoral programme assessing how well the energy transition contributes to the Country’s delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Why are we doing this research

The UK power sector is migrating from an old centralized network of large, mainly fossil-fuel based generating stations toward a more dynamic energy ecosystem with new entrants generating and actively managing their consumption.

The inability to access clean, reliable sources of affordable energy is a barrier to securing development which is sustainable. However, there is limited published research which takes a comprehensive approach to assessing whether the impact of changes to the UK power system are contributing to sustainable development.

Although there is common agreement amongst the key participants who perform the energy policy, regulatory and operational functions in the UK that change is needed to address the energy trilemma, there is a lack of an effective mechanism, including an agreed and shared model, to assess the impact of change in the power sector at different scales and across time.

How the research will be undertaken

The survey is available online which will be followed up, firstly, by telephone interviews of a selection of survey participants to gain a deeper understanding and collect technology performance data where available. This stage will be developed further in a set of cross-sectoral panels. The purpose of the discussions will be to develop some of the themes identified from the previous stages and exchange examples of practice across the three sectors to see whether a common viewpoint can be developed.

How we ensure your information is managed appropriately

The general principal of personal and organisational anonymity will be applied with specific exclusion being made where an organisation agrees to their information being used for example in a case study.

The survey process and any subsequent data management will be undertaken in accordance with the General Data Protection Act 2018. Informed prior consent will be sought from any individual who subsequently elects to participate in the research. Except for the participant’s e-mail address, no personal data as defined under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 will be requested in the online survey. These will be used only to verify that the response is from real individual, to identify any duplication of responses from the same individual, to invite survey participants to a follow-up telephone interview or discussion panel and to be able to provide feedback of the results once the research has concluded.

In addition to any statutory or academic requirements, this work will be undertaken according to principles of the Market Research Society Code of Conduct.

If you complete the survey but subsequently want to withdraw, please contact the researcher at any time. If in any event you wish to make suggestions, comment or make a complaint regarding this research please contact quoting the researcher’s name in the e-mail title.

Contact: Peter Gudde - Doctoral Researcher, University of Suffolk