Retrofit 2050 Presents at Chief Scientific Advisors’ Meeting: March 2012

Mon, 2012-03-12

Prof. Malcolm Eames and Prof. Tim Dixon were invited to give a presentation on the EPSRC Retrofit 2050 in March at the Chief Scientific Advisors’ Quarterly meeting. Every government department has a Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA), and departmental CSAs, working collectively with other analytical disciplines and with departmental boards and Ministers, work to ensure that science and engineering are at the core of decisions within departments and across government.

Tim Dixon introduced the Retrofit 2050 project, a £2.4M programme funded by EPSRC from 2010 – 2014. The scale of the challenge is huge – the majority of people, energy consumption and greenhouse gas production are in cities. To meetUK targets we would need to retrofit one house per minute from now to 2050. Achieving targets will require new and flexible governance and financing arrangements and revamped institutional structures for cities to improve energy, water and waste systems and create efficiencies.

A ‘city’ in this context is defined by more than just its population size. Often cities consist of a network of sub-regions which can share infrastructure. Therefore it is essential that the programme considers cooperation between local authorities.

Professor Jim Hall of Oxford University also introduced the 5-year Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortiumproject, which aims to develop and demonstrate a new generation of simulation models and tools to inform the analysis, planning and design of national infrastructure.

The meeting agreed that both projects were very important work, particularly for departments engaged directly with this agenda, including DECC (Prof. David Mackay), CLG (Prof. Jeremy Watson) and DEFRA (Prof. Bob Watson).