Richard Lowes
Postgraduate Researcher


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 a multi-billion pound gas company.

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: .

Broad research areas:

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


BSc (Hons) Geography and Environmental Management, University of Exeter, First Class
MSc Energy Policy and Sustainability, University of Exeter, Distinction


Recent Publications

Lowes, R., and Woodman, B. (2018) Incumbency and the transformation towards low carbon heating in the UK – Implications for policy. Available from: Falmouth.

Lowes, R., Woodman, B., and Clark, M. (2018) Incumbency in the UK heat sector and implications for the transformation towards low-carbon heating. Available from:,  Falmouth.

Lowes R. Response from Richard Lowes , University of Exeter Energy Policy Group , to Public Accounts Committee Inquiry into the Renewable Heat Incentive ( RHI ) [Internet]. 2018. Available from:

Lowes R, Woodman B, Clark M. A Transformation to Sustainable Heating in the UK: risks and opportunities for UK heat sector businesses [Internet]. Falmouth; 2018. Available from:

Lowes, R., Woodman, B and Fitch-Roy, O., (2017), Defining incubency: considering the UK heat sector, A UKERC Working Paper, 

Lowes, R., Woodman, B., Webb, J., Eyre, N., Hanna. R., and Gross, R, (2016), Heat in buildings: The Future of Heat: Domestic Buildings - The UK Energy Research Centre’s (UKERC) Response to the BEIS Call for Evidence,   

Lowes, R., (2016), Political Power and the Development of the GB Renewable Heat Incentive, BIEE 2016 Conference Working Paper 

Lowes, R., Woodman, B. and Britton, J, (2016), Submission to the DECC Consultation The Renewable Heat Incentive: A Reformed and Re-focussed scheme,

Lowes, R., Woodman, B., and Britton, J., (2016), Submission to the Energy and Climate Change Committee’s Enquiry into Renewable Heat and Transport Targets,

Connor PM, Xie L, Lowes R, Britton J, Richardson T. (2015) The development of renewable heating policy in the United KingdomRenewable Energy, volume 75, no. March 2015, pages 733-744, DOI:10.1016/j.renene.2014.10.056

Woodman, B., Lowes, R, (2014), There’s a hidden opportunity in the British Gas Probe, The Conversation,

Contact details

AddressTremough House
University of Exeter
Penryn Campus
TR10 9FE

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