The Bartlett School of Planning


Challenging Lock-in through Urban Energy System (CLUES)

Note: This project has now ended. Please find below some useful links to its outputs. If you would like further information please click on the 'Outputs' tab on your left hand side

2 November 2022

 About the CLUES Project

The CLUES Project critically assessed the development of decentralised energy systems in urban areas in the light of national decarbonisation and urban sustainability goals. Based upon national and international reviews, it examined the range and types of urban energy systems that have been and might have been installed.

It further considered the issues raised by the need for such initiatives to integrate with energy systems at urban level in the UK, regional and national scales in order to deliver energy and carbon reductions to 2050 effectively.

Project start date: 1 October 2010          Project end date: 1 October 2012


  • Professor Yvonne Rydin (UCL) - Principal Investigator
  • Professor Patrick Devine-Wright (University of Exeter) - Co-Investigator
  • Dr Chris Goodier (Loughborough University) - Co-Investigator
  • Professor Simon Guy (University of Manchester) - Co-Investigator
  • Professor Lester Hunt (University of Surrey) - Co-Investigator
  • Professor Jim Watson (University of Sussex) - Co-Investigator


Cardiff University logo


Communities and Local Government Logo

Department of Energy & Climate Change

Energy Institute

ERP logo

ICE Logo

Imperial College London Logo

Loghborough University Logo

SSE Logo

TCPA logo


UCL logo

UK Trade & Investment


University of East London

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CLUES is funded by the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), as part of the Sustainable Urban Environment (SUE) Programme (Project number: EP/10021 70/1).




Project reports

The CLUES Database: Urban Energy Initiatives (UK)

  • Full Database (182 projects)- This database lists the urban energy initiatives/ projects identified by the CLUES project in the UK during October 2010 to January 2011 -  a total of 182 projects. 'Initiatives' were projects with an element of collective action, whether organised by the public, private or third sector; i.e. individual behaviour by a single household was excluded as were individual private sector developments unless they had implications for the local energy chain. The information collated from the 182 projects identified is organised under four main dimensions: GOVERNANCE, ECONOMIC, SOCIAL and TECHNOLOGY. Each of the main dimensions are further subdivided as follows:
  1. The Governance category is divided according to who led the project: local authorities; private sector bodies; third sector organisations including community groups, NGOs or housing associations; and partnership comprising collaboration between public, private and third sector bodies;
  2. The Economic category looks at: whether a subsidy was in operation;  whether price regulation or the feed-in-tariff was relevant; whether both forms of economic instrument pertained; or whether there was no such reliance on an economic instrument;
  3. The Social category tables information on whether there was: an element of public awareness activity such as information provision; whether more extensive and active public engagement was involved; whether both forms of public involvement activity were present; or whether there was no apparent public involvement activity at all; and
  4. The Technological category collects information on 14 different types of technology  that were involved in these urban energy projects; however within the matrix the emphasis was on whether there was the inclusion of: energy generation technology; technology oriented towards demand management; or both; a category for recording the absence of any such technology was also included.                                                                                                                                 Highlighted in yellow in this database are 'exemplars' of main CATEGORIES i.e different types of projects/ possible combinations. These are then separately listed in the Categories Database
  • Categories Database (51 categories) - This database lists 51 types or categories of different possible combinations of governance/ economic/ social/ technolodical aspects of urban energy initiatives, as well as an 'examplar' or two i.e. representative cases from each type/ category. These 'examplars' were selected in order to assist with the susequent CLUES work packages i.e. case studi ineditification and selection. The 51 types/ categories are highlighted in yellow in the Full database. 23 are from types/ categories where there is just one example. These are highlighted in red text in this spreadsheet.
  • CLUES Pathways - This document brings together some descriptive statistics from the previous two spreadsheets. Please note that these statistics are not representative for the population of urban energy projects surveyed, BUT for the population of DIFFERENT TYPES/ CATEGORIES of urban energy projects identified.

CLUES Innovative International Case Studies Workshop Series (WP5)

CLUES UK Case Studies: Summary Report

CLUES to Urban Energy in the UK: Survey of Initiatives

CLUES Scenarios Policy Briefing

CLUES Launch Event (10 Oct 2012, UCL)