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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number ES/S015124/1
Title Powering Productivity: Mapping the Role of Energy Infrastructure in UK Labour Productivity using Expert Elicitation and a Thematic Literature Review
Status Completed
Energy Categories Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Energy Models) 10%;
Energy Efficiency(Transport) 20%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Other Supporting Data) 20%;
Energy Efficiency(Industry) 30%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Economics and Econometrics) 70%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Politics and International Studies) 30%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Systems Analysis related to energy R&D (Energy modelling) 20%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 60%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 20%;
Principal Investigator Professor T (Tim ) Jackson
No email address given
Centre for Environmental Strategy
University of Surrey
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 01 February 2019
End Date 31 July 2019
Duration 6 months
Total Grant Value £136,785
Industrial Sectors
Region South East
Programme ESRC - SPF: Productivity
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor T (Tim ) Jackson , Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey (99.997%)
  Other Investigator Prof M (Matthew ) Leach , Centre for Environmental Strategy, University of Surrey (0.001%)
Dr S Mair , Centre for Environment & Sustainabilit, University of Surrey (0.001%)
Dr J Boehnert , Sch of the Arts, Loughborough University (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives The aim of this research is to map the existing evidence base around the energy-productivity relationship in the UK. To this end we have the following objectives:R1) Map the relationship between energy infrastructure and productivity growth in the UK;R2) Map the range and characteristics of energy infrastructure interventions used to improve UKproductivity;R3) Map a summary of what is known about the performance of these interventions.These three objectives will be used to structure a thematic literature review and produce 3 knowledge maps.
Abstract Energy is likely to be an important element of UK productivity (defined as the amount of output generated per hour worked). One way that energy might impact UK productivity is through cost. The price of energy is an important part of the cost of production for UK firms and affects their investment decisions. Another way that energy is important is through transport. Traffic congestion affects the productivity of cities, and attempts to reduce congestion are affected by energy infrastructure and supply, both of which are currently changing. If energy is important for productivity, then it is important to try understand how changes in UK energy infrastructure might affect UK productivity growth.Renewable energy has a growing share of the UK energy supply. It is harder to extract energy from renewable sources than from conventional oil, coal and gas. This means that it requires greater energy in to get the same amount of energy out. As a result, using more renewable energy might mean that the UK has to use more and more energy to support the same amount of economic activity. Energy (and energy infrastructure) is not free, so the country might have to spend more of its finances producing the same amount of output. However, renewable energies are relatively cheap, and getting cheaper. This could be good news for productivity because it might increase investment in new technologies, for example. In turn this might make renewables more efficient, and investment in renewable energy could be used as a way to boost productivity growth. So, whether renewable energy is good or bad for productivity growth depends on how these and other factors interact. This project aims to summarise the existing evidence base in order to try answer this kind of question.Our research will review the existing body of work that explores the relationship between energy and productivity. Using bibliographic and computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software we will construct and analyse a database of research literature. This will be complemented by engagement with experts from business, government and academia. Experts will help us to identify the key relationships between energy and productivity in the UK, and help us navigate the evidence base. Expert views will be gathered by a questionnaire and then by a series of mapping workshops. The workshops will produce several diagrams that show the links between parts of the evidence base ('knowledge maps'). These maps will be used to identify and organise the most important pieces of evidence in the debates around energy and productivity in the UK. In this way, the experts will focus our review of the research literature.This research project will deliver innovative visualisations and a written report. These deliverables will summarise existing knowledge on the relationship between energy and UK productivity. Initial knowledge maps, produced in the workshops, will be developed by professional designers into infographics. These infographics will be produced in two forms, one suitable for offline use and one for online use. The latter will be interactive and updateable. In addition, we will produce an open access database of the literature, and a written report summarising key lessons from the evidence base on energy and UK productivity. These outputs will be hosted on the website of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity, and will be promoted with blogposts and a social media campaign.It is hoped that this project will enhance discussions on UK productivity and build and increase capacities for policymakers, researchers and private sector actors.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 19/03/19