Research

In my research I am interested in the factors that drive companies' low-carbon innovation strategies, and investigate in particular the influence of policies on firm behaviour and how this impacts on wider system changes towards sustainability. For this, I have developed a comprehensive policy mix concept which not only considers the role of policy instruments, such as the EU ETS, and their interaction but also the importance of ambitious political targets as spelled out in government’s climate mitigation strategies. In addition, also softer factors, such as the credibility of commitments of policy makers, as well as the role of policy making and implementation processes play a key role for redirecting and accelerating innovation towards low-carbon solutions. In my research I draw on economics, innovation & transition studies as well as political science, and perform both qualitative and quantitative analyses, typically in mixed methods research designs.

My primary empirical focus lies on the energy sector, and here currently in particular on renewable power generation technologies, such as offshore wind, but increasingly also on energy demand through my involvement in the Centre of Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED). Beyond climate and energy policy I am also investigating industrial policy and its role in energy disruption within the project "Smart Energy Transitions" (SET) in which Denmark, the UK and Germany are compared. At Fraunhofer ISI I was project leader for the EU FP7 funded project PATHWAYS which explored transitions pathways to sustainable, low carbon societies, e.g. by comparing the low carbon energy transitions in Germany and the UK. From 2012-15 I was principal investigator for the GRETCHEN project (funded by the BMBF) in which my team at Fraunhofer ISI, FSU Jena and GWS Osnabrück investigated the impact of the German policy mix on technological and structural change in renewable power generation technologies.

For further information on research projects undertaken in the Sussex Energy Group, please visit SEG's website  or read our blog.