Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development

Energy & Resources

The Energy and Resources theme contributes to one of the grand challenges of our times: how to realize a sustainable energy and resource system within a world constrained by climate change and increasingly resource scarcity?

Transition to a sustainable energy system

The research theme energy and resources addresses a number of the grand challenges. The ever-growing energy and materials demand of our society puts enormous pressure on our natural resources, renewable and non-renewable, reducing the quality of our environment and increasing the constraints on resource availability. The response to these challenges requires a different approach to fulfil the energy services demand by society, including efficient use of energy and materials, shifting to renewable energy sources, reducing unsustainable land use change, and redirecting industrial metabolism.

Multi-disciplinary environment

This transformation is a multi-disciplinary process with a large number of stakeholders, requiring understanding and inputs from a variety of disciplines to come to collaborative solutions. The E&R group offers a unique multi-disciplinary environment to develop knowledge and collaborative science projects in this complex field, with an emphasis on system analytical approaches focused on:

  • efficient use of energy and materials
  • shifting to unconventional and renewable energy sources
  • reducing unsustainable land use change
  • redirecting the industrial metabolism.

The future energy and material systems

Environmental sustainability, affordability, security, and social acceptance are key criteria for future energy and material systems. Pressure on the world’s ecosystems and resources is increasing rapidly, necessitating the accelerated deployment of technologies, systems, measures and governance. These issues are all interconnected; specific technologies and pathways can quickly lead to trade-offs and conflicts with other issues (e.g. increased use of scarce resources, economics).

The group makes a difference in the transition towards a sustainable energy and resource system by improving our understanding of the connections, and by contributing to sustainable solutions for our energy and resource system.


Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development