A new systematic literature review by PhD student Annie McCabe and her advisor, Dr Dorina Pojani, on the application of renewable energy to social housing was just published in Energy Policy.
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Abstract. Low-income housing associations provide a unique opportunity for renewable energy installations, through potential scale of implementation sites, and in reducing social and financial costs to tenants. As an emerging field, a systematic review format was chosen as a method of providing a ‘state-of-the-art’ analysis for practitioners and researchers in the field of renewable energy and social housing applications. While literature reviews are common in analysis of energy applications across many fields, systematic reviews are much rarer. Because research/policy interest in the application of renewable energy technologies and social housing appears to be growing, this review aims to bring together the disparate literature already available. This review set out to determine what are the common 1. Success Factors, 2. Barriers and 3. Motivations, evident in previous research surrounding the application of renewable energy technologies in social housing contexts? Common findings from 67 research cases were synthesised under 3 a priori themes of Motivations, Barriers and Success Factors. Many articles revolved around the user interface and potential barriers to integration of technology, particularly where user engagement is not carried out sufficiently. It is suggested that this emphasis reflects a broader trend in applying socio-technical approaches in the field of energy research.