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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/H051104/1
Title Maximising the diffusion and impact of microgeneration technologies in new housing
Status Completed
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Residential and commercial) 30%;
Fossil Fuels: Oil Gas and Coal(Oil and Gas, Oil and gas combustion) 5%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Solar Energy, Photovoltaics) 5%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Wind Energy) 5%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Bio-Energy, Applications for heat and electricity) 5%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Electricity transmission and distribution) 25%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 25%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Architecture and the Built Environment) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Policy and regulation) 25%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 25%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Technology acceptance) 25%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 25%;
Principal Investigator Professor M Sexton
No email address given
Construction Management and Engineering
University of Reading
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 December 2010
End Date 30 November 2012
Duration 24 months
Total Grant Value £186,700
Industrial Sectors Construction; Energy
Region South East
Programme Energy Multidisciplinary Applications, User-Led Research
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor M Sexton , Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Dr L Schweber , Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading (0.001%)
Dr R Leiringer , Innovation Construction Research Centre, University of Reading (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , EDF Energy (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives The following grants are linked: EP/H051104/1 and EP/H051120/1
Abstract This project will inform and influence the need for and use of microgeneration technology (MGT) in new build houses. The research is highly relevant and timely as the UK government has set a target that all new houses must be zero-carbon by 2016 and that the use of MGTs will be needed to meet this target. The widespread introduction and use of MGTs will have significant implications. For energy providers, MGTs will move the balance away from centralised energy generation and distribution towards a decentralised model. MGTs will enable end-users to generate electricity for their own use with any surplus being sold to the grid company. In addition, the installation of MGTs has been found to significantly shift end-users awareness, attitudes and behaviour towards improved energy efficiency.For MGT manufacturers and installers, the substantial increase in demand will expand the MGT market and offer new business opportunities and challenges. Finally, for housing developers, the integration of MGTs will require radical innovation in their business strategies, supply chain management, design and production. The successful diffusion of MGTs in the new build housing sector will thereforeneed multi-level changes across institutional, supply chain and end-user actors. The uptake of MGTs so far has been extremely small. Research to date on the barriers to MGT diffusion has pursued a limited 'technology push' perspective. This perspective has generally ignored the critical social and market dynamics which shape (and are shaped by) the development and use of MGTs. The proposed research adopts a socio-technical network analysis approach which is needed to properly understand the conditions and processes which facilitate (or hinder) the creation and solidification of appropriate supply chains and end-user strategies and practices. These conditions and processes will vary from country to country. Lessons and good practice may therefore be identified and shared throughcross-country comparisons. The programme of work in the project involves three principal streams of integrated activity. First, six UK housing development case studies will be undertaken which will investigate the MGTs employed in particular developments. Housing development case studies will be produced and, from the fieldwork, three key MGTs used in new build housing will be identified. Second,theseprioritised MGTs will be the focus of three UK MGT case studies which will concentrate on the particular MGTs and associated manufacture(s). The work will result in MGT case study reports and an analytical framework to allow comparisons between MGTs and between national institutional contexts. Third, the analytical framework will be used to conduct a comparison between France and the UK. EDF researchers will conductthe fieldwork in France. The comparison will allow the integration of cross-national data and comparative institutional analysis of the effect of national conditions on variations in the socio-technical networks supporting the design and deployment of MGTs. The project will benefit from having the following as industrial partners: the National House Building Council Foundation, the Home Builders Federation and the British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers Association. The partners are highly regarded in their sectors and their views are sought by government as the 'representative voice' of the industry. The academic project team from the EPSRC funded Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres at the University of Reading and the University of Salford has a proven track record in leading and managing successful collaborative funded projects. Further, the academic team has the multi-disciplinary expertise required for the project: the delivery of sustainable housing; new product development in high technology sectors; procurement and supply chain management; and, socio-technical network analysis
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 22/10/10