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  • Science 06/2012; 336(6087):1396-7. DOI:10.1126/science.1223952
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    ABSTRACT: This paper considers the field of urban energy policy, a neglected yet important topic. Cities account for approximately two-thirds of global primary energy consumption creating significant benefits and costs. As a result there has been growing interest in the contribution of cities to global energy policy issues such as climate change but a number of significant questions remain: e.g. how do energy policy processes differ between national and urban scales, and how can cities contribute most effectively to global policy goals? We present the results of interviews with key stakeholders in London to illustrate some unique features of the urban energy policy cycle. We then take a wider view, proposing a research agenda with three key goals: describing the global variety of urban energy consumption and policy; understanding the resulting diversity in responsibility, vulnerability and capacity; and developing shared procedures and solutions. Tackling these questions is vital if cities are to contribute fully to current energy policy efforts.
    Energy Policy 09/2010; 38(9-38):4870-4879. DOI:10.1016/j.enpol.2009.07.025
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    ABSTRACT: The sustainability of urban environments is an important issue at both local and international scales. Indicators are frequently used by decision-makers seeking to improve urban performance but these metrics can be dependent on sparse quantitative data. This paper explores the potential of an alternative approach, using an internet search engine to quickly gather qualitative data on the key attributes of cities. The method is applied to 21 world cities and the results indicate that, while the technique does shed light on direct and indirect aspects of sustainability, the validity of derived metrics as objective indicators of long-term sustainability is questionable. However the method's ability to provide subjective short-term assessments is more promising and it could therefore play an important role in participatory policy exercises such as public consultations. A number of promising technical improvements to the method's performance are also highlighted.
    Environmental Impact Assessment Review 02/2009; 29(2-29):87-95. DOI:10.1016/j.eiar.2008.09.001
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    ABSTRACT: Low-carbon decentralised energy technologies (DETs) have become increasingly popular in recent UK energy policy debates. Many of the technologies involved are well established, but it is only with their increased technical maturity and the imperatives of climate change, energy security and fuel poverty that DETs have been realistically suggested as an integral part of our future built environment. This review will consider the possible physical and behavioural impacts of increased levels of low-carbon decentralised energy, presenting both recent research in this field and an analysis of policy trends and future scenarios.
    Energy Policy 12/2008; 36(12-36):4518-4521. DOI:10.1016/j.enpol.2008.09.019
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