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  • Innovative user-centred energy business models will be critical to deliver millions of zero-carbon assets in homes and businesses and to help customers with complex energy prices. These new business models require regulatory space to emerge while regulation itself will need to change to protect consumers from harm.

    • Jeffrey Hardy
    • Laura Sandys
    Comment
  • Decarbonizing the built environment sector is key to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, yet there are major barriers to the adoption of emerging energy technologies in buildings. Building demonstrators could help overcome such barriers by trialling technologies and engaging experts across research, construction and policy.

    • Joanna Clarke
    • Justin Searle
    Comment
  • The United States and other G7 countries are considering a framework for mandatory climate risk disclosure by companies. However, unless a globally acceptable hybrid corporate governance model can be forged to address the disparities among different countries’ governance systems, the proposed framework may not succeed.

    • Paul Griffin
    • Amy Myers Jaffe
    Comment
  • The scientific research environment struggles to be an inclusive and diverse place. Initiatives such as the Minority Carriers event at the Photovoltaics Specialists Conference not only support marginalized researchers but also delineate the changes that need to be made and actions that should be taken to make the research space inclusive.

    • Lyndsey McMillon-Brown
    Comment
  • As increasingly complex and optimized energy systems prepare to cope with a variety of risks including climate shocks and extreme weather events, a myopic focus on economic efficiency can significantly jeopardize critical energy services.

    • Andrew S. Jin
    • Benjamin D. Trump
    • Igor Linkov
    Comment
  • The recent ruling in a Dutch court that Shell must curb its CO2 emissions is the latest in a series of legal moves bringing human rights concerns to bear on energy activities. This trend will have profound consequences for energy developments and for meeting climate goals.

    • Raphael J. Heffron
    Comment
  • Established climate mitigation scenarios assume continued economic growth in all countries, and reconcile this with the Paris targets by betting on speculative technological change. Post-growth approaches may make it easier to achieve rapid mitigation while improving social outcomes, and should be explored by climate modellers.

    • Jason Hickel
    • Paul Brockway
    • Diana Ürge-Vorsatz
    Comment
  • Energy and transportation researchers can contribute to the realization of just transitions to low-carbon mobility in cities across the planet by elaborating and enacting broad conceptions of justice that consider distribution, procedure, recognition and knowledge generation.

    • Tim Schwanen
    Comment
  • Stopping climate change requires revolutionary transformations in industry and agriculture. Ahead of several major climate meetings this year, policymakers struggling to measure progress on climate change should focus less on global emissions, which will be slow to change, and more on technological advances in pioneering niches.

    • Ryan Hanna
    • David G. Victor
    Comment
  • 11 March 2021 marked the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Today, without better public engagement and understanding of nuclear power generation and its role in the energy system mix, progress on Japan’s post-carbon strategy will remain stagnant.

    • Midori Aoyagi
    Comment
  • Energy research works with units and concepts forged in an age of fossil fuel, leading to problem formulations that reinforce current societal practices and patterns of consumption. Achieving low-carbon energy goals depends on shifting demand to match supply and reconceptualizing interactions between time and energy.

    • Elizabeth Shove
    Comment
  • The power conversion efficiency of organic solar cells has rapidly increased, yet significantly less attention has been paid to materials stability and device longevity. For organic solar cells to make an impact in the marketplace, researchers, funding agencies and journals should do more to address this crucial gap.

    • Quinn Burlingame
    • Melissa Ball
    • Yueh-Lin Loo
    Comment
  • The Paris Agreement’s Mission Innovation initiative to accelerate government spending on clean energy research is currently succeeding in its quest to support carbon mitigation. It should be renewed for an additional five years, with increased ambition, and changed to better integrate the private sector.

    • Zdenka Myslikova
    • Kelly Sims Gallagher
    Comment
  • Roughly 90% of the world’s energy use today involves generation or manipulation of heat over a wide range of temperatures. Here, we note five key applications of research in thermal energy that could help make significant progress towards mitigating climate change at the necessary scale and urgency.

    • Asegun Henry
    • Ravi Prasher
    • Arun Majumdar
    Comment
  • Online conferences are increasingly popular within scientific communities due to the travel restrictions faced by many countries. Although a relatively new phenomenon for many of us, lessons from recent meetings provide useful reflections on the format’s opportunities and challenges compared to conventional in-person meetings.

    • Michael Saliba
    Comment
  • Energy plays a central role in responding to emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic, from ensuring adequate healthcare services to supporting households during lockdowns. Protecting the renewable energy industry and its contribution to providing sustainable energy access for all must be an urgent priority in the current crisis.

    • Vanesa Castán Broto
    • Joshua Kirshner
    Comment
  • Digital and physical games are now widely used to support learning and engagement, including in the domains of climate change and energy. We believe games have a further, underappreciated role: helping us as researchers to reflect on our own research, generating deeper understanding and, hopefully, more impactful research projects.

    • Michael J. Fell
    • Alexandra Schneiders
    Comment
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and associated changes in social and economic conditions may affect the prevalence of energy insecurity. Essential relief must be provided to the growing number of households that are energy insecure and protect them from even more dire circumstances caused by utility disconnections and unpaid energy bills.

    • Michelle Graff
    • Sanya Carley
    Comment
  • The smart home technology industry promises energy savings and lifestyle improvements. However, there is little evidence that smart home technologies will reduce home energy use overall, and there are a range of emerging detrimental social impacts that require further attention from researchers, policymakers and practitioners.

    • Larissa Nicholls
    • Yolande Strengers
    • Jathan Sadowski
    Comment
  • Anomalous seasons such as extremely cold winters or low-wind summers can seriously disrupt renewable energy productivity and reliability. Better seasonal forecasts providing more accurate information tailored to stakeholder needs can help the renewable energy industry prepare for such extremes.

    • Anton Orlov
    • Jana Sillmann
    • Ilaria Vigo
    Comment