The UK Provides A Fund To Drive Research At Renewable Energy Hubs

A new network of clean energy hubs are planned in the UK to further research and innovation.

Three ‘Supergen’ centres covering bioenergy, offshore renewables, and energy networks are being launched with £5 million each of Government funding.

It’s expected that new hubs will involve researchers taken from 19 universities, along with 70 partners from outside academia.

A further £1 million will go towards establishing a solar research network, led by Loughborough University. This network will include 10 universities and six partners, largely taken from within the solar industry.

The funding is being led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which made the announcement this week. The body has financed £150 million in seven new hubs over the past five years, designed to support the low-carbon transition and reduce carbon emissions in the UK.

Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s executive chair, explained the purpose behind the latest initiative: “As we move towards a low carbon future we need to explore the fundamental science that can spark new technologies and systems as well as linking researchers to industry to meet their needs. As the threats from climate change become ever-more apparent there is a pressing need for the UK, and the world, to act collaboratively to address the challenges of clean energy production, distribution and storage.”

Professor Michael Walls, said the new SuperSolar Network will “include all solar technologies from fundamental research through to module engineering, champion the role of solar in the overall energy mix and engage all stakeholders in industry, government and finance.”

“Using flexible funding it will assist early stage researchers to work in leading international laboratories where they can access world-class know-how and facilities, learn from best practice and accelerate the impact of their research,” he added.

Earlier this year, £42 million was invested in establishing a new battery storage centre in Oxfordshire. The Faraday Institution will help reduce costs and address challenges in the new technology.