UCL Energy Institute


UCL-Energy-led centre to investigate challenges of net zero future

18 February 2020

New funding for the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), hosted by UCL Energy Institute, will enable engineers, social scientists and natural scientists to conduct vital research into the challenges of a net zero emissions future.

Photo shows a row of wind turbines stationed at sea with a blue sky behind

In the fourth phase of UKERC, £22 million will be allocated to research on the decarbonisation of key sectors such as industry, transport and heat, and explore the role of local, national and global changes in energy systems.

UKRI is providing £18 million support for the fourth phase of UKERC, while partners will contribute £4 million.

UKERC have also announced that Dr Robert Gross, from Imperial College London, has been appointed its new Director, succeeding Professor Jim Watson of UCL Energy Institute and UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, who has led the centre since 2015.

Professor Neil Strachan, UCL Energy Institute Director and lead of the UKERC’s Energy Modelling Hub, said:

We are delighted to host phase four of UKERC with UCL’s Energy Institute. UKERC’s pioneering work on whole energy systems thinking is mirrored in the research that the institute does. Such interdisciplinary energy analysis is critical to underpin the hugely challenging net zero emission target that the UK has legislated and is wrestling with how best to implement.”

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost for Research, said:

The UK faces significant challenges in decarbonising our energy systems and ensuring they are robust, sustainable, and can meet the net zero target. Through the work of the UKERC, we are able to bring together academics from across a range of disciplines, to develop holistic solutions to complex problems, and support both industry and government with expertise and innovation."

Led by UCL, UKERC extends across 20 institutions encompassing 17 universities, along with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chatham House and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

UCL Energy Institute leads on UKERC’s Energy Modelling Hub, and contributes to themes on UK Energy in a Global Context; Local and Regional Energy Systems; Energy, Ecosystems and Resources; and Energy Infrastructure Transitions.

UKERC is funded through the UKRI Energy Programme by UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council.

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