Researchers at the Universities of Loughborough and Surrey have been awarded funding to explore the links between energy and productivity in the UK.
The project, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will also look into understanding the relationships between wellbeing and productivity.
The research team will focus, in particular, on understanding how changes in the energy basis of the economy might explain the declining growth rate of UK productivity over the last few decades.
It is hoped the study will help inform policymaking across various institutions.
Surrey University’s Professor Tim Jackson, Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity said: “All economic activity involves the use and transformation of energy. The quality of energy resources is declining – we’re having to work harder to get the energy we need to power the economy. One of the areas we’ll be exploring is whether this could have contributed to the UK’s declining productivity growth.”