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Dr Colin Nolden

Dr Colin Nolden

Dr Colin Nolden

Vice Chancellor's Fellow

Area of research

Sustainable City Business Models

Office Room 1.01
8-10 Berkeley Square,
Bristol, BS8 1HH
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Colin's research interests span energy and climate service business models, energy and climate policy, and sustainability


Colin joined the University of Bristol as a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in November 2017. Before joining Bristol, Colin worked freelance for Climate-KIC, Provadis School of International Management and Technology and DECC. Prior to that, Colin worked at a Research Fellow in Energy Efficiency and Innovation at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit), University of Sussex. He completed his PhD at the Geography Department, College of Life and Environmental Sciences and the Centre for Rural Policy Research, College of Social Sciences and International Studies, both University of Exeter. He received his undergraduate degree in Geography and History from University College Dublin and his postgraduate degree in Sustainable Development at the University of Exeter. In between, Colin worked as a steelworker, a mussel farmer and an energy efficiency consultant.

Colin’s research interests span energy and climate service business models, energy and climate policy, and sustainability. He recently co-authored a book with the title ‘From the Paris Agreement to a Low Carbon Bretton Woods’. As a co-director of Community Energy South he is involved in business model innovation linking community energy projects with energy clients.

His new research project analyses the development of sustainable city business models. With the merging of energy and mobility services in Bristol as a case study, this research analyses transformative processes to shed light on the changing nature of city business models given the need for ‘smart’ technology and systems to be socially acceptable, environmentally responsive and economically accountable, as well as holistically integrated into increasingly decarbonised energy systems and, ultimately, carbon markets.

Colin’s project seeks to enhance the necessary structures for holistic and participatory technology application and intermediation practices to enable city, local and regional authorities to shift their focus towards innovation with instead of simply for the people. New technologies such as distributed ledgers and blockchains as well as approaches to intermediation including participatory tools and methods for changing mobility practices will be analysed through the frame: smart mobility + smart grids + smart governance = smart low carbon cities.


  • Governance
  • Sustainability
  • Energy
  • Mobility
  • Climate change
  • Carbon markets
  • Blockchains


  • Sussex Energy Group

Recent publications

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Networks & contacts

  • Dr Michele Stua (University of Sussex) Dr Friedemann Polzin (Utrecht University)

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