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Dr Richard Lowes

Dr Richard Lowes

Research Fellow and Lecturer

 Stella Turk Building Fellows Office

 

University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, TR10 9FE

Overview

I am a passionate and enthusiastic energy policy researcher with commercial policy experience. I also teach on a number of modules involved in environmental science and energy policy. Prior to returning to complete my PhD I was responsible for Government policy and relations at one of the UK's gas distribution network companies.

I am generally interested in environmental issues and environmental policy and have experience in energy policy and waste management policy in both a theoretical and applied sense. I hope that my high impact work will contribute to wider environmental change by assisting the policy making process.

My primary area of focus is heat and its associated governance. Heat in general is an area which has often been overlooked by both policy makers and researchers but is a major part of the energy system; in the UK around half the energy we use as a country is for heat. I situate my research in the wide field of policy analysis but also consider wider approaches to the transformaton of large socio-technical systems (transitions theory).

I blog about these things at: https://heatpolicy.wordpress.com .

Broad research areas:

  • Energy policy,
  • heat strategy,
  • renewable heat support policies,
  • network regulatory models,
  • infrastructure transitions
  • political power

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Geography and Environmental Management, University of Exeter, First Class

MSc Energy Policy and Sustainability, University of Exeter, Distinction

PhD in Energy Policy, University of Exeter. Thesis titled: Power and heat transformation policy: Actor influence on the development of the UK’s heat strategy and the GB Renewable Heat Incentive with a comparative Dutch case study. 

Research group links

Research

Research interests

I am primarily interested in the politics of the UK energy and environmental policy making process. My research would fit into either a sociological or public policy approach and I am generally more focussed on the 'human' side of energy than the engineering side.

I am particularly interested in how and why policy develops in particular ways, specifically how actors such as companies and trade associations are able to shape and change policy. This work builds on the theories of policy change, institutions and power.

Research projects

 

Heat, Incumbency and Transformations

Principle Investigator: Bridget Woodman

Funding Body: UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC)

I am Research Fellow on this innovative project. The project is considering a UK transformation to a 100% sustainable heat system but focussing on the role of incumbent companies. It will map the current heat regime in the UK investigating who is present in the sector, consider how incumbents may be affected by the transition an then consider the socio-political impacts that these incumbents may have on a potential UK heat transformation.

More information the project can be found here.

FutureGas

Principle investigator: Poul Erik Morthorst, Technical Universityof Denmark (DTU)

Exeter lead: Profesor Catherine Mitchell

Funding body: Danish Innovation Fund

The FutureGas project is a major multi-disciplinary project investigating the future role of gas in Denmark. The project brings together engineers, mathematicians, social scientists and policy experts from across Europe. Our role in the project is to provide a comparative case study for Denmark, focussing on the UK, using our own expertise of the UK's energy system.

Research networks

I am:

A Member of the Energy Institute

A Member of the Sustainable Transitions Research Network

A Member of the UK Energy Research Centre

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Lowes R, Woodman B, Fitch-Roy OWF (2019). Policy change, power and the development of Great Britain's Renewable Heat Incentive. Energy Policy, 131, 410-421. Abstract.  Full text.
Judson E, Fitch-Roy O, Pownall T, Bray R, Poulter H, Soutar I, Lowes R, Connor P, Britton J, Woodman B, et al (2019). The centre cannot (always) hold: examining pathways towards energy system de-centralisation. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 118 Abstract.  Full text.
Connor PM, Xie L, Lowes R, Britton J, Richardson T (2015). The development of renewable heating policy in the United Kingdom. Renewable Energy, 75(March 2015), 733-744. Full text.

Conferences

Lowes RJ (2016). Political power and the development of the GB renewable heat incentive. British Institute of Energy Economics. 21st - 22nd Sep 2016. Full text.

Reports

Lowes R, Ketsopoulou I, Taylor P, Watson J, Winskel M, Kattirtzi M, Woodman B, Poulter H, Brand C, Killip G, et al (2019). Disrupting the UK energy system: causes, impacts and policy implications. http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/asset/E28CB651-CD2B-4C72-B64CE13DD2840E51/.
Watson J, Wu J, Lowes R, Qadrdan M (2019). UKERC Review of Energy Policy 2019. http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/asset/42351E7F-81B5-4CDA-9984E9A942EAFD49.B9AE6F71-E1C4-40A5-B0310113060491A8/.
Lowes RJ, Woodman B (2018). Incumbency and the transformation towards low carbon heating in the UK – Implications for policy. Full text.
Watson J, Webb J, Lowes R (2018). UKERC Review of Energy Policy 2018. http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/asset/E8CBC653-4BD2-4BA1-99DB926D129BFF38.19BC1448-3312-402F-BAB3AE130BF89B58/.

Publications by year


2019

Lowes R, Ketsopoulou I, Taylor P, Watson J, Winskel M, Kattirtzi M, Woodman B, Poulter H, Brand C, Killip G, et al (2019). Disrupting the UK energy system: causes, impacts and policy implications. http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/asset/E28CB651-CD2B-4C72-B64CE13DD2840E51/.
Lowes R, Woodman B, Fitch-Roy OWF (2019). Policy change, power and the development of Great Britain's Renewable Heat Incentive. Energy Policy, 131, 410-421. Abstract.  Full text.
Lowes R (2019). Power and heat transformation policy: Actor influence on the development of the UK’s heat strategy and the GB Renewable Heat Incentive with a comparative Dutch case study.  Abstract.  Full text.
Judson E, Fitch-Roy O, Pownall T, Bray R, Poulter H, Soutar I, Lowes R, Connor P, Britton J, Woodman B, et al (2019). The centre cannot (always) hold: examining pathways towards energy system de-centralisation. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 118 Abstract.  Full text.
Watson J, Wu J, Lowes R, Qadrdan M (2019). UKERC Review of Energy Policy 2019. http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/asset/42351E7F-81B5-4CDA-9984E9A942EAFD49.B9AE6F71-E1C4-40A5-B0310113060491A8/.

2018

Lowes RJ, Woodman B (2018). A Transformation to Sustainable Heating in the UK: risks and opportunities for UK heat sector businesses.  Full text.
Lowes RJ, Woodman B (2018). Incumbency and the transformation towards low carbon heating in the UK – Implications for policy. Full text.
Lowes RJ, Woodman B (2018). Incumbency in the UK heat sector and implications for the transformation towards low-carbon heating.  Full text.
Watson J, Webb J, Lowes R (2018). UKERC Review of Energy Policy 2018. http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/asset/E8CBC653-4BD2-4BA1-99DB926D129BFF38.19BC1448-3312-402F-BAB3AE130BF89B58/.

2017

Lowes RL, Woodman B, Fitch-Roy O (2017). Defining incumbency: considering the UK heat sector.  Abstract.  Full text.

2016

Lowes R, Woodman B, Britton J (2016). EPG response to the DECC consultation: the Renewable Heat Incentive: a reformed and refocused scheme.
Lowes R, Woodman B, Britton J (2016). EPG response to the Energy and Climate Change Committee's 2020 renewable heat and transport targets inquiry.
Lowes RJ (2016). Political power and the development of the GB renewable heat incentive. British Institute of Energy Economics. 21st - 22nd Sep 2016. Full text.

2015

Connor PM, Xie L, Lowes R, Britton J, Richardson T (2015). The development of renewable heating policy in the United Kingdom. Renewable Energy, 75(March 2015), 733-744. Full text.

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Teaching

I am module co-convenor for GEO3459, 'Whole Energy Systems' and GEOM247 'Transforming Energy Systems'. I am also supervising dissertation students.

Please get in touch if you are looking for post-graduate supervision.

Supervision / Group

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