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Sustainable Pathways to Low Carbon Energy (SPLiCE) Phase 1 - CCM0102

Sustainable Pathways to Low Carbon Energy (SPLiCE) research programme is a collaborative multi-phase UK research programme which aims to fill significant gaps in knowledge about the sustainability of different mixes of energy supply and demand options needed to deliver 2050 greenhouse gas UK emissions targets. This will fulfil the UK Government commitment in the Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP) to “work with others to establish a research programme to fill evidence gaps about impacts on the natural environment of the level of infrastructure needed to meet 2050 objectives, in particular with respect to the cumulative and indirect effects.” It will look specifically at the direct, indirect and cumulative effects of different energy technologies on the natural environment, society and the economy. This new research will be combined with existing information and synthesised into a comprehensive, accessible and holistic view of the data that will support decision making to build a sustainable future energy system.

Phase 1 of SPLiCE is jointly funded by Defra and NERC and is a feasibility/scoping study that will establish a foundation for future phases of this programme. It will: start a process of reviewing and synthesising existing research; prioritise evidence gaps to commission new research in phase 2; produce a design and data specification for a portal to access the synthesised information and; assess options for evaluating and comparing impacts and engaging the public. These outputs will form the basis of the work programme and project specifications for the various workstreams required to deliver the final outputs in phase 2. They will also be used to identify and engage with potential funding partners who will be needed to resource phase 2. See "Objectives" for more information on the outputs.

The research programme is overseen by a Management Board which includes co-funders, as well as associate members including DECC.


The Phase 1 deliverables will include:
•A report on the significant evidence gaps on the impacts of energy supply and demand options, a recommended priority for filling those gaps and ideas for how the gaps could be filled by the research undertaken during and beyond Phase 2 of SPLiCE.
•A detailed methodology for undertaking systematic evidence reviews on the impacts (direct, indirect and cumulative) of energy supply and demand options, based on published literature (both peer-reviewed and grey). This methodology’s feasibility will then be tested / demonstrated via two examples studies:
1.the direct impacts (environmental, social and economic) of a single energy supply option
2.the cumulative (environmental, social and economic) impacts of a typical mix of energy supply and demand options on one particular type of habitat, catchment area or community
•A design specification and a detailed set of data requirements for a knowledge gateway/repository (KG) to manage and access the synthesised data and impact analyses developed and populated fully during Phase 2, and driven by user needs via consultation with central government policy officials, with local government (including planners), regulators/enforcement bodies and developers and with NGOs and the general public.
•An analysis of whether different impacts (environmental, social and economic) of energy systems can be evaluated and compared, deriving a preliminary framework for comparing the impacts such that choices can be made between them.
•A preliminary framework for engaging the public in discussions on sustainable energy options that enhances understanding of important issues, choices and trade-offs – including recommendations for a set of potential approaches that could be further developed in Phase 2.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : SPLiCE - Final Report   (1124k)
• SUP - Supplementary Report : SPLiCE - Output 1 Evidence Gaps Report   (2029k)
• SUP - Supplementary Report : SPLiCE - Output 1 M1.2 Evidence Gaps Web Survey Report   (1803k)
• SUP - Supplementary Report : SPLiCE - Output 2 REA Methodology Report   (1039k)
• SUP - Supplementary Report : SPLiCE - Output 2a REA Biomass Case Study   (727k)
• SUP - Supplementary Report : SPLiCE - Output 2b REA NDBR Case Study   (829k)
• SUP - Supplementary Report : SPLiCE - Output 3 Knowledge Gateway Report   (1447k)
• SUP - Supplementary Report : SPLiCE - Output 4 Comparing Impacts Report   (2876k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2014

To: 2015

Cost: £420,350
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Ricardo-AEA Ltd
Climate Change              
Environmental Impact