Taxpayer-supported grant giver UK Research & Innovation is helping energy-related research at six centres, with £53 million of new money.

Greater complexities in power distribution, £20 million for green hydrogen innovation, and cash to probe consumption behaviours are addressed in today’s announcement.  Reaching Net Zero by mid-century is the awards’ ultimate goal.

Led by Bath University the UK-HyRES Hydrogen Hub seeks international leadership in hydrogen research, fostering technologies delivering the gas and alternative liquid fuels.

A related HI-ACT hub, led by Newcastle University, will evaluate routes to effective integration of hydrogen into the wider energy landscape, addressing interactions with electricity, natural gas, heat, and transport.  Each centre pockets £10 million in funding by the Engineering & Physical Research Council.

Split between Sussex & Newcastle Universities, an Energy Demand Research Centre will compile evidence in consumer behaviour, assessing the impact of prompts towards demand reduction as well as researching best ways to improve energy efficiency.

Power and heat used in homes, businesses & transport will be covered, with a £15 million grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Bioenergy and renewables are the focus of a new Supergen Energy Network, with three regional hubs in universities.  Bristol will probe the modernisation of distribution systems connecting suppliers and users. Plymouth will seek to speed up offshore generation devices and systems.  Aston will identify pathways for delivering bioenergy with wider social, economic and environmental benefits.

As Britain’s biggest public funder of innovation, UKRI invests £8 billion each year, via nine councils covering different STEM disciplines.

Its chief executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said:

“This funding announced today will support researchers and innovators to develop game changing ideas to improve domestic, industrial and transport energy systems.

“The government has set a target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050, requiring rapid decarbonisation of our energy systems. UKRI is leveraging its ability to work across disciplines to support this ambition through a major portfolio of investments that will catalyse innovation and new green energy systems”.


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