A new energy system architecture

About the project or challenge area

A new energy system architecture is emerging. Centralised fossil-fuel electricity generation and transmission is making way for a renewable energy powered distribution system. Technology and business model innovation potentially enables the energy system to be redeveloped from the bottom-up. Community energy organizations are uniquely placed to establish how, where and when this new energy system architecture proves feasible. This Master's by Research project will involve close engagement with community energy organizations to assess technological and business model feasibility.

Why choose this opportunity?

You will gain invaluable experience at the cutting edge of low-carbon technology and business model innovation. By working with a non-profit industry partner with direct communication and decision-making structures, you will get a unique interdisciplinary insight into the opportunities and difficulties of creating a fit-for-purpose energy system in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

For an insight into Dr Colin Nolden's work, take a look at the Riding Sunbeams community energy project.

About you

You have a background in social sciences such as geography, economics, politics, business studies or management and experience in undertaking independent research. An interest or practical experience in technology would be very helpful. 

How to apply

PAll students can apply using the button below, following the Master's by Research Admissions Statement. Please note that this is an advertised project, which means you only have to complete Section A of the Masters by Research Statement Template (Office document, 68kB).

Before applying, we recommend getting in touch with the project's supervisors. If you are interested in this project and would like to learn more about the research you will be undertaking, please use the contact details on this page.


Your supervisor for this project will be Colin Nolden, Vice Chancellor's Fellow in the Law School. You can contact him at colin.nolden@bristol.ac.uk.

Find out more about your prospective research community

The Low Carbon Energy theme is a vibrant community of researchers who integrate expertise across multiple disciplines to develop sustainable energy policy and technologies which are crucial to providing a safe, reliable and low-cost energy supply for a growing global population. We innovate in every part of the energy system, from generation and storage, to regulation and end-user demand Find out more about the Low Carbon Energy theme.

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