Charlie Wilson

University of East Anglia

Current Position


Role at Tyndall

Lecturer in Energy & Climate Change Research.
As a Lecturer in the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA, I organise and teach a module on energy and climate change, and I contribute to other modules on social science research methods, climate change science and policy, and fossil fuels. As a researcher, I am part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and a coordinator of its Energy & Emissions research theme. I joined the Tyndall Centre and UEA in September 2010 from the London School of Economics. There, I taught courses on technological change and business sustainability. I have a PhD from the University of British Columbia in Canada. This was an inter-disciplinary social scientific investigation of the social and behavioural determinants of energy use. Prior to my PhD, I worked for a number of years in the private sector in both renewable energy finance and climate change policy.

Role at Council

Theme Co-ordinator, Energy and Emissions.

Research Interests

My research interests lie at the intersection between technologies, behaviour and policy in the field of energy and climate change mitigation. I work at both a systems level and a micro level.
At a systems level, I am interested in long run historical as well as future energy transitions, and the extent to which historical patterns of technology diffusion can be used to validate scenario projections of low carbon technology diffusion. I collaborate extensively with colleagues at IIASA (the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) in Austria. My current projects include the EU-funded ADVANCE project to develop the next generation of integrated assessment models of the energy-economy, and the EU-funded AMPERE project to explore multi-model scenarios of low carbon futures. I have also just recently completed a book on energy technology innovation systems which will be published later this year, and I was a Lead Author of two chapters of the Global Energy Assessment which was published in 2012.
At a micro level, I am interested in pro-environmental behaviour, the effectiveness of behaviour change interventions, and decision making heuristics and biases. I primarily work on domestic energy efficiency including home renovations, but I am also interested in pro-environmental behaviour and identity more generally. My current projects include the UKERC-funded VERD project on energy efficient home renovation decisions in the context of the Green Deal, and the EPSRC-funded REFIT project on user relationships with and domestication of smart home technologies. I also have a self-funded project on approaches for characterising and mapping pro-environmental behaviour along multiple dimensions.
Much of my research is either directly policy-relevant, or has implications for policy which I try to draw out. I try to engage with policy makers and decision makers wherever possible. In the past year, I have completed two consultancy projects for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (on behaviour change in the home), I have co-authored two responses to government consultations (on the energy market, and on the Green Deal), and I have presented at an International Energy Agency policy workshop on energy demand.
I was involved in writing the report titled "What Works in Changing Energy- Using Behaviours in the Home? A Rapid Evidence Assessment", led by RAND-Europe, which forms part of the evidence base for the Department of Energy and Climate Change's Energy Efficiency Strategy.

Ideas & insights
Research areas

Contact information


Phone: +44 (0)1603 591386

Postal Address:

Tyndall Centre (ENV), ZICER 1.18 University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK.