We take ‘flexibility’ to refer to the capacity to use energy in different locations at different times of day or year (via storage or by changing the timing of activity including whether it takes place at all); to switch fuels; to smooth or create peaks in demand or, in the case of mobility, to re-arrange destinations and journeys in ways that reduce energy demand and/or congestion.
We contend that flexibility is constituted and limited by the interaction of social and technological/infrastructural arrangements including systems of storage and generation alongside social and institutional rhythms. These are critical for the fast changing relation between the timing and extent of energy demand, on the one hand, and the provision and consumption of energy services on the other. Identifying the scale of future flexibility and where and when it lies is a central priority for UKCRED, along with the task of anticipating and addressing ‘flexibility gaps’ of different forms.
The research will be organised under two sub-themes:
Individual projects are designed to investigate different aspects of ‘flexibility’ and situate the topic as a cross cutting concern within the centre as a whole.