Professor Matthew Hannon

Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship


Personal statement

Matthew works as a Professor of Sustainable Energy Business and Policy at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Strathclyde Business School. His research examines the business models, policies and technologies necessary to accelerate the transition to a socially equitable, net-zero economy.

He has (co-)led major research projects, including the Scottish Universities Insight Institute’s Carbon Offsetting for Communities, UKRI’s £10m EnergyREV consortium on smart, locally led energy systems, as well as both the UK Energy Research Centre’s ‘Whole Person - Whole Place’ net-zero neighbourhood retrofit and Community Energy Finance projects. His work has been published across ‘Financial Times 50’ ranked journals and two books on innovation to accelerate the energy revolution. His work has also enjoyed extensive media coverage (e.g. BBC, Forbes) and he has also provided commentary for national media outlets like the i newspaper and The Conversation.

His work has led to him providing expert witness testament to parliamentary committees and been cited in government and parliamentary reports. He has written reports on behalf of the World Energy Council and sat on Scottish Power Energy Networks’ Customer Engagement Group to inform their five-year business plan for Ofgem’s RIIO-ED2. He is also a member of the BSI/Defra advisory group for Nature Investment Standards, USwitch’s Green Tariff Accreditation Panel and was paired with a senior local MP for the Royal Society Pairing Scheme. He is a council member of the British Institute of Energy Economics, chair and trustee of the community energy charity South Seeds. Finally, he is co-founder and host of the Local Zero podcast, which champions local action to tackle climate change and profiled as the Times Pod of the Week.


  • Principle investigator of the Scottish Universities Insight Institute funded project - Carbon Offsetting and Communities: co-developing alternative place-based voluntary offsets in Scotland
  • Principle investigator on an EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account project, titled Community energy at a crossroads: Co-developing a path forward for South Seeds and the UK community energy sector.
  • Principle investigator on an Energy-REV flex-fund project titled Smart local energy systems for a ‘just transition’
  • Co-Investigator on a UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) funded project titled ‘Whole Person - Whole Place’ energy solutions for net-zero neighbourhoods, which explores how social relations impact energy retrofitting decisions.
  • Co-Investigator for the UKRI £8m Energy Revolution Research Consortium to support a smart, locally led energy system. Co-I for work packages on: (1) business and finance; and (2) policy and regulation (commenced Dec 2018).
  • Co-Investigator on UK Energy Research Centre funded Community Energy Finance project (2017-2019). Lead on community energy case studies work package.
  • Co-Investigator on Political hyping of new energy technologies project to explore how parliamentary processes fuel or deflate expectations surrounging low-carbon technology innovations. We focus in particular on tipping-points between political support or opposition to new technologies.

PhD supervision:

  • Kristine Heimdal - An ecosystem approach to establishing Glasgow as a centre of net-zero innovation.
  • Josh Oxby - Jobs, innovation and the net-zero energy transition: employment opportunities for Scotland and their equitable distribution
  • Finlay Kerr - Low-carbon heat for low-income communities: Locally owned business models to capture mine water geothermal heat for Scotland’s ex-mining communities (ETP Industrial Doctorate, co-funded by Scottish Enterprise).
  • Horacio Gonzalez - The role of intermediaries in supporting absorption and desorption of novel energy innovations (completed 2023).
  • Rui Hu - The Chinese innovation system for wind energy: structure, functions and performance (completed 2017).

Selected journal publications:

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Under one roof : the social relations and relational work of energy retrofit for the occupants of multi-owned properties
Cairns Iain, Hannon M, Owen A, Bookbinder R, Brisbois M-C, Brown D, Davis M, Middlemiss L, Mininni GM, Combe M
Energy Policy Vol 190 (2024)
Community Participation for Community Benefits From Natural Capital Projects : A Review for the Facility for Investment Ready Nature in Scotland Programme
Hannon Matthew, Gowens Rebecca, Roberts Jennifer J, Major Laura, Cairns Iain
Developing a relational approach to energy demand : a methodological and conceptual guide
Middlemiss Lucie, Davis Mark, Brown Donal, Bookbinder Ruth, Cairns Iain, Mininni Giulia M, Brisbois Marie Claire, Hannon Matthew, Owen Anne, Hall Stephen
Energy Research and Social Science Vol 110 (2024)
Understanding the Impact of the Transition to Net Zero on Low Paid Jobs
Congreve Emma, Crummey Ciara, Anderson Pauline, Hannon Matthew, Oxby Josh
Who applies for energy grants?
Owen Anne, Middlemiss Lucie, Brown Donal, Davis Mark, Hall Stephen, Bookbinder Ruth, Brisbois Marie Claire, Cairns Iain, Hannon Matthew, Mininni Giulia
Energy Research and Social Science Vol 101 (2023)
Carrots, sticks and sermons : policies to unlock community energy finance in the United Kingdom
Hannon Matthew, Cairns Iain, Braunholtz-Speight Timothy, Hardy Jeff, McLachlan Carly, Mander Sarah, Sharmina Maria
Energy Research and Social Science Vol 100 (2023)

More publications

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Professional Activities

Understanding the impact of the transition to net zero on low paid jobs
Coordination of University-wide response to draft Scottish Energy Strategy
USwitch (External organisation)
Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) (External organisation)
IPCC (External organisation)
Co-host and creator of the Local Zero podcast

More professional activities


Carbon Offsetting and Communities: co-developing alternative place-based voluntary offsets in Scotland (£19,860)
Hannon, Matthew (Principal Investigator) Combe, Malcolm (Co-investigator) Roberts, Jen (Co-investigator) Davidson, Magnus (Co-investigator) Anderson, Roxanne (Co-investigator) Haggett, Claire (Co-investigator)
Voluntary carbon markets (VCMs) offer a means of offsetting carbon emissions, by funding projects that deliver equivalent carbon emissions reductions elsewhere. These are commonly natural capital “removal” offsets that sequester carbon, such as afforestation or peatland restoration project.

The sector is growing very quickly and the recent adoption of Article 6 at COP26 delivered a rulebook for carbon offsetting, which is likely to further accelerate this marketplace. Scotland has already seen major natural capital investments led by institutional investors, corporations and charitable trust, who are often referred to – albeit controversially - as “Green Lairds”. High profile examples include investments from BrewDog, Shell and Aviva. Despite its growing popularity, it is unclear whether VCM projects have provided Scottish communities with much direct benefit or control.

To address this, this Scottish Universities Insight Institute funded project will deliver a series of events between researchers and practitioners that explore how VCMs are impacting Scottish communities and how they could be re-designed to maximize place-based, community benefits. The project will improve our understanding of the:

1. Distribution, scale and nature of current natural capital VCMs in Scotland;
2. Impact natural capital VCMs are having on communities;
3. Alternative VCM designs to deliver place-based community benefit and social justice;
4. Routes to co-develop and implement new VCMs in partnership with communities; and
5. Policy, legal and market conditions necessary for their adoption.

The project aims to initiate an informed, evidence-based national discussion about how best to design and implement carbon offsets, in a way that supports a net-zero, Just Transition.
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2023
Impact Acceleration Account: Community energy at a crossroads: Co-developing a path forward for South Seeds and the UK community energy sector. (£12,564)
Hannon, Matthew (Principal Investigator)
30-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2022
`Whole Person - Whole Place? energy solutions for net-zero neighbourhoods (UKERC Flexi Fund)
Hannon, Matthew (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2023
Smart local energy systems for a ‘just transition’ (EnergyRev Flex Fund - £29,000)
Hannon, Matthew (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2021
Local Zero podcast (EnergyREV Flex Fund - £24,000)
Hannon, Matthew (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 01-Jan-2022
Low-carbon heat for low-income communities: Locally owned business models to capture minewater geothermal heat for Scotland's ex-mining communities (ETP Energy Industry Doctorate Programme 2019)
Hannon, Matthew (Principal Investigator)
19-Jan-2020 - 18-Jan-2023

More projects

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Professor Matthew Hannon
Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship

Tel: 548 3993