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Energy and Environment Research Unit


EERU's Expertise and Interests

EERU’s main areas of interest and expertise are in:

• Renewable Energy;
• Efficient energy use;
• Sustainable energy policies and future scenarios;
• Climate Change;
• Distance Learning Courses in Sustainable Energy;
• Information Outreach on Renewable Energy.

Renewable Energy

In the renewable energy field, the main current areas of EERU interest and expertise, and the principal academics involved, are:

• Building-integrated and Offshore wind power (Derek Taylor and Godfrey Boyle);
• Solar Photovoltaics (Godfrey Boyle, Steve Plater);
• Solar Thermal Energy (Bob Everett);
• Tidal Power (Dave Elliott);
• Biofuels (Jonathan Scurlock);
• Regional renewable energy studies (Derek Taylor, Godfrey Boyle);
• Renewable energy in the new EU accession countries (Dave Elliott, Terry Cook).

Efficient Energy Use

In the field of efficient energy use, EERU’s main areas of interest and expertise, and the principal researchers involved, are:

• Energy efficient and sustainable building design (Bob Everett, Derek Taylor, Susan Roaf);
• Combined Heat and Power (Bob Everett);
• Energy Management Policies (Horace Herring, Bob Everett);
• Domestic Energy Monitoring and Control (Malcolm Fowles);
• Energy in Transport (Stephen Potter);
• Social Factors influencing energy use (Horace Herring).

Sustainable Energy Policies and Future Scenarios

• Energy and Climate Change Scenarios (Stephen Peake, Godfrey Boyle);
• Environmental Impacts of Energy Use (Dave Elliott, Godfrey Boyle);
• Carbon Capture and Storage (Godfrey Boyle);
• Carbon Trading and Offsetting (Stephen Peake);
• Nuclear Energy Policy (Dave Elliott, Andy Blowers);
• Energy Systems Modelling (Godfrey Boyle).

Distance Learning Courses in Sustainable Energy

Members of EERU form the core course team that produces and presents the Open University undergraduate course T206 Energy for a Sustainable Future (see the T206 ‘taster’ web site at For this course they have produced three major textbooks, co-published with Oxford University Press: Energy Systems and Sustainability (2003), Renewable Energy (2004) and Managing Transport Energy (2007). These textbooks are available to the general public, from booksellers or via the OUP web site at EERU members have also been active in the production of other Open University courses, including T152 Energy Measurements at Home, T172 Working with the Environment: Technology for a Sustainable Future, and T307 Innovation: Designing for a Sustainable Future. They are currently working on U116 Environment. Introductory EERU course material on sustainable energy is also available via the OpenLearn web site, at

EERU Information and Outreach

EERU is also very active in providing information on sustainable energy to the general public, through papers, books, reports, DVDs, and conferences. EERU’s bi-monthly magazine Renew has for more than 25 years been an invaluable source of news and background information in the field of renewable and sustainable energy. EERU members have produced and edited numerous journal and conference papers, magazine articles, research reports and books in the sustainable energy field. See Publications. EERU also organises a series of major conferences on sustainable energy issues, held in the Open University’s Berrill Lecture Theatre in Milton Keynes. In 2006-7 these included: Nuclear or Not, Locating Renewables in Community Contexts, Coping with Variability and New Europe, New Energy (organised in collaboration with the UK Energy Research Centre). The conferences are webcast (replay available at and available on DVD for a small cost (email They have also resulted in the publication of a number of associated books, including Nuclear or Not (Elliott D, ed, Palgrave-Macmillan, 2007) and Renewable Energy and the Grid (Boyle G, ed, Earthscan, 2007). EERU members have also been active in submitting evidence to Government Inquiries, most recently to the 2006 DTI Energy Review (Boyle and Everett, 2006).

Page Last Updated: 20 October, 2009