Charlie Wilson

University of East Anglia



Role at Tyndall
Charlie is a part of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and a co-ordinator of its Energy & Emissions research theme. As a Reader in the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA, Charlie organises and teaches a module on energy and climate change, and contributes to other modules on social science research methods, climate change science and policy, and fossil fuels.  

Role at Council
Theme Co-ordinator, Energy and Emissions.

Research Interests
Charlie's research interests lie at the intersection between technologies, behaviour and policy in the field of energy and climate change mitigation, working at both a systems level and a micro level. Charlie's research is either directly policy-relevant, or has implications for policy. 

At a systems level, Charlie is interested in long-run historical as well as future energy transitions, and the use of historical patterns of technology diffusion to inform scenarios and modelling projections of low carbon system transformation. He collaborates extensively with colleagues at IIASA (the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) in Austria. Charlie's current projects include an ERC Starting Grant-funded project called 'SILCI' to examine disruptive innovations with significant emission reduction potentials, and a EU Horizon 2020 project called 'SET-Nav' on European energy innovation systems. Recently completed projects in which he was involved include the EU-FP7 'ADVANCE' project to develop the next generation of integrated assessment models, and the EU-FP7 'AMPERE' project to explore multi-model scenarios of low carbon futures. With Arnulf Grubler he has published a Cambridge University Press book on energy technology innovation systems. Charlie was also a Lead Author of two chapters of the Global Energy Assessment.

At a micro level, Charlie is interested in technology adoption and diffusion, pro-environmental behaviour and the effectiveness of behaviour change interventions. He works mainly on new technologies, energy efficiency and renovations in homes. Recently completed projects in which he was involved include the EPSRC-funded 'REFIT' project on the domestication of smart home technologies, and the UKERC-funded 'VERD' project on energy efficient home renovation decisions in the context of the Green Deal. Charlie also has a self-funded project on approaches for characterising and mapping pro-environmental behaviour along multiple dimensions.

Charlie joined the Tyndall Centre and UEA in September 2010 from the London School of Economics. There, he taught courses on technological change and business sustainability. Charlie has 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 his PhD, Charlie worked for a number of years in the private sector in both renewable energy finance and climate change policy.

Selected Publications
Grubler, A., C. Wilson and G. Nemet (2016). "Apples, oranges, and consistent comparisons of the temporal dynamics of energy transitions." Energy Research & Social Science 22: 18-25.

McCollum, D. L., C. Wilson, H. Pettifor, K. Ramea, V. Krey, K. Riahi, C. Bertram, Z. Lin, O. Y. Edelenbosch and S. Fujisawa (2016). "Improving the behavioral realism of global integrated assessment models: An application to consumers’ vehicle choices." Transportation Research Part D Transport and Environment.

Wilson, C., L. Crane and G. Chryssochoidis (2015). "Why do homeowners renovate energy efficiently? Contrasting perspectives and implications for policy." Energy Research & Social Science 7: 12-22.

Wilson, C., T. Hargreaves and R. Hauxwell-Baldwin (2015). "Smart homes and their users: a systematic analysis and key challenges." Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 19(2): 463-476.

Grübler, A., F. Aguayo, K. Gallagher, M. Hekkert, K. Jiang, L. Mytelka, L. Neij, G. Nemet, C. Wilson and P. Dannemand Andersen (2012). "Policies for the energy technology innovation system (ETIS)." Global Energy Assessment: Toward a Sustainable Future: 1665-1743.

Wilson, C. and H. Dowlatabadi (2007). "Models of decision making and residential energy use." Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour. 32: 169-203.


Further publications:


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.