UKERC - Energy, Environment, and Landscapes theme
Active projectProject start: January 2019 | Project end: January 2024
Principal Investigator: Professor Nicola Beaumont
The UK Government is committed to developing UK low-carbon energy pathways with the recent 25 year environment plan also demonstrating key commitments to maintaining and improving UK Natural Capital. The trend towards energy system decarbonisation and decentralisation has created a growing awareness of the potential interactions with the environment and land use. Whilst this shift could alleviate pressures on natural resources and provide co-benefits, it could also lead to negative impacts.
Future energy pathways that envisage more wind farms, solar arrays and significant land use and infrastructure have implications for the quality of the natural landscape and the cultural ecosystem services people derive from the visual enjoyment of those landscapes. Embedding environmental research into the design of UK energy systems is therefore required. This would support delivery of the 2018 Defra 25 Year Environmental Plan and other policy objectives.
PML is leading this theme which will apply ecosystem service and natural capital approaches to understand the environmental implications of changes in the UK energy system. Using a range of spatially resolved approaches, it will provide new tools for decision-makers that allow them to take a whole-systems perspective to help maximise societal benefits.