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New £19 million research centre on energy demand announced



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A major new UK research centre on Energy Demand has been announced by the EPSRC and ESRC today, to develop and deliver internationally leading research, focusing on energy demand from a systemic, socio-technical perspective.

Funded with £19.5 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the UK Centre for Research on Energy Demand (UKCRED) will be led by the Environmental Change Institute's (ECI's) Professor Nick Eyre, Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Integrating Renewable Energy  and bring together a world-leading and multi-disciplinary group of researchers.

They will look to lead whole systems research on energy demand in the UK. They will champion research that is inter-disciplinary and whole systems, focusing on the energy demand aspects of the transition to a secure and affordable low carbon energy system, and the existing excellent single-disciplinary and component-related research.

Professor Eyre said: “The goals of a secure, affordable, low carbon energy system are only achievable if energy demand is reduced, decarbonised and made more flexible. Understanding how these changes can happen is a major inter-disciplinary research challenge.

The UK Centre for Research on Energy Demand gives us a major opportunity to address this challenge, building on existing excellent UK research. We aim to play a leading role in global research, and for the Centre to act as a hub, enabling all UK energy demand research to have more coordinated impact on business and policy decisions.”

The proposed programme of research will have several themes that align well with elements of the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, especially ‘Improving Business and Industry Efficiency’, ‘Improving our Homes’ and ‘Accelerating the Shift to Low Carbon Transport’.

The Centre involves over 40 academics at 13 institutions across the UK and Professor Eyre will be supported by a team of seven Co-Directors who have a balance of skills, covering the key energy demand sectors - buildings, transport and industry - and a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds.

The Co-Directors all have a track record of strong commitment to inter-disciplinary research. 

Professor Eyre noted that the team " aims to play a leading role in global research, and for the Centre to act as a hub, enabling all UK energy demand research to have more coordinated impact on business and policy decisions."