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Energy & Environment

Theme Leader: Dr Melanie Austen, Plymouth Marine Laboratory


The Energy & Environment theme are developing strategies for marine and land-based energy production and greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation technologies which limit environmental impacts while safeguarding or even restoring the ecosystem.

They are also looking at ways to integrate the socio-economic valuations of ecosystem goods and services into technology evaluation.

This will allow us to see the impact of energy production and GHG mitigation technologies on the UK's carbon footprint.

We are combining predictive modelling with methods for valuing ecosystem goods and services, and extending existing carbon footprinting methods.

The tools developed will ensure that environmental indicators can be considered alongside economic indicators in policy development.

There are three main activities:

  • development of analytical tools applicable to all energy technologies in a common framework to assess their contribution to GHG emissions reductions
  • development and application of modelling and valuation methods for assessing environmental and socio-economic impact of offshore energy production technologies
  • development and testing of methods for assessing environmental and socio-economic impacts of developing bioenergy resources



Research Projects

  • To evaluate the global impact of the UK ecological/carbon footprint of energy production/carbon abatement technologies  
  • To develop tools for assessing the environmental impact of energy exploitation/carbon abatement in the marine environment and to optimise opportunities for improved sustainability.
  • To develop tools for assessing integrated approaches to sustain and improve water and soil quality in the context of exploiting bioenergy resources
  • Spatial Mapping and Evaluation of Energy Crop Distribution in Great Britain to 2050
  • Assessing the Global and Local Impacts on Ecosystem Services of Energy Provision in the UK
  • A Global Framework for Quantifying the Ecosystem Service Impacts of Oil and Biofuel Production
Further details of the research projects under the Energy and Environment theme can be found at the Research Projects page. 

Information on UKERC Phase I (April 2004 - April 2009) activity can be found here.