Colin Nolden

Management School

Senior Research Fellow

Colin Nolden delivering a presentation.
Profile picture of Colin Nolden delivering a presentation.

Full contact details

Colin Nolden
Management School
Sheffield University Management School
Conduit Road
S10 1FL

Colin joined the Energy Institute as a Senior Research Fellow in March 2024. Between 2017 and 2024, Colin worked at the University of Bristol Law School (UK). Alongside, he worked at the University of Oxford (UK), initially at the Environmental Change Institute and later also at the School of Engineering Science. During this period, Colin’s research and consultancy was also funded by the British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council Impact Accelerator Account, Innovate UK, Research England, Royal Academy of Engineering, UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ), UK Department for Transport (DfT), and the University of Southern Denmark Climate Cluster.

Previous academic appointments include a Research Fellowship at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED) at SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK; a Project Researcher position on a Climate-KIC funded project on Transition Cities at Provadis University for Management and Technology, Germany; and a PhD Studentship in Energy Policy at the University of Exeter, UK. Throughout his academic career, Colin has worked for schools or departments of Geography, Politics, Business, Management, Law and Engineering. Outside academia, Colin worked as an energy efficiency consultant, a steelworker, and a mussel farmer. In his role as a non-executive director of Community Energy South, Colin is responsible for research and innovation.

Research interests
  • Energy policy
  • Climate governance
  • Demand
  • Markets
  • Places
Projects and publications

As a geographer by training, Colin is particularly interested in scalar and spatial dimensions of sustainable energy and climate governance at the intersection of demand, markets, and places. His research falls under one of the following themes:

Community engagement in energy systems and transitions to sustainability

This research seeks to understand the role of communities, municipalities and cities in supporting a just transition to net zero.


Nolden, C., Barnes, J., Nicholls, J. (2020). Community energy business model evolution: A review of solar photovoltaic developments in England. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 122, 109722, DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2020.109722

Demand reduction, flexibility and response in energy service provision

This research focuses on energy service governance arrangements, business models, and market creation to level the playing field between energy supply and demand.


Drivers of policy asymmetry – CREDS

Finance and procurement for net-zero

This research analyses the potential role of public procurement in leveraging innovative finance arrangements for net zero delivery.


Finance and procurement for net zero | UKERC | The UK Energy Research Centre

Policy translation from national net zero strategy to local delivery

This research explores the translation process of national net zero strategy into local net zero planning and delivery, and vice versa.


Implementing effective and just net zero policies (IMPERFECT) | The British Academy

Climate alliances to create demand for greenhouse gas emission mitigation

This research involves the establishment of principles for a holistic governance framework of climate clubs based on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and border carbon adjustments to protect carbon commons to assign value to assetized carbon emission reductions.


Stua, M., Nolden, C., Coulon, M. (2022). Climate clubs embedded in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 180, 106178, DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2022.106178