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Open Access research that is exploring the innovative potential of sustainable design solutions in architecture and urban planning...

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Research activity at Architecture explores a wide variety of significant research areas within architecture and the built environment. Among these is the better exploitation of innovative construction technologies and ICT to optimise 'total building performance', as well as reduce waste and environmental impact. Sustainable architectural and urban design is an important component of this. To this end, the Cluster for Research in Design and Sustainability (CRiDS) focuses its research energies towards developing resilient responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges associated with urbanism and cities, in both the developed and developing world.

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The emergence of low carbon energy autonomy in isolated communities

Rae, Callum and Bradley, Fiona (2013) The emergence of low carbon energy autonomy in isolated communities. Journal of Technology Innovations in Renewable Energy, 2 (3). pp. 205-221.

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This study examines the concept of switching from a centralised energy supply model, which prevails in the developed world, towards a more autonomous model based on the use of low carbon technologies, from the viewpoint of isolated communities. The study begins by establishing the importance of isolated communities within the field of energy research, and examining the concept of low carbon energy autonomy. It then analyses a number of desktop case studies from across Europe, all of which have adopted (or are in the process of adopting) a highly autonomous energy supply model based on the use of low carbon technologies. The various resulting social, technical and economic impacts are then examined. This study illustrates the importance of providing high level policy to support innovative projects and encourage a broader dissemination of energy autonomy theory. The research also stresses the need for clearer routes to funding for off-grid energy projects which have great potential for utilising autonomous energy supply as a catalyst for rural socio-economic development.