[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 12-Nov-2012
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Contact: EPSRC Press Office
pressoffice@epsrc.ac.uk
01-793-444-404
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

£39 million for UK energy efficiency research to cut carbon use

One of the Research Councils' biggest investments in research to support energy efficiency policy and contribute to cutting carbon use and greenhouse gas emissions in the UK was unveiled today.

Five new End Use Energy Demand (EUED) research centres, that will look into the complexities of energy use across society and how energy can be both saved and used more efficiently, are to receive over £26 million funding from two research councils, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and a further £13 million from industrial partners.

Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, announced the funding today while visiting the Energy Institute at University College London, one of the institutions that submitted successful proposals, which will be focusing on Energy Epidemiology.

Mr Barker said: "We have now put energy efficiency at the very heart of the Government's energy policy. Using energy more wisely is absolutely vital in a world of increased pressure on resources and rising prices. Not only can energy efficiency help save money on bills and cut emissions, it can support green jobs, innovation and enterprise.

"The five new End Use Energy Demand centres launched today will play an important role in improving our understanding of how energy is used across the nation, helping us learn more about what needs to be done to change consumer and business behaviour. I wish these centres every success and look forward to seeing the results."

Professor David Delpy, EPSRC's Chief Executive, said: "We had a tremendous response from the academic community to this call. In all 38 proposals were submitted and many displayed unique approaches. The five centres chosen were considered to have best demonstrated that they could develop internationally leading research and apply it to help meet the Government's 2050 challenges."

Professor Paul Boyle, Chief Executive of the ESRC, said: "I believe the interdisciplinary nature of these centres will help us to better understand the challenges faced to meet our future energy needs. The centres must work together to ensure that the full potential impact of their programmes is realised. They will engage with the public, interact with users and promote synergies between the research projects which the ESRC fully supports."

The announcement also coincides with the launch of three new reports, Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAS), which examine the economic and environmental potential of low carbon innovation in the development of industry, homes and non-domestic buildings. The reports are produced by the Low Carbon Innovation Coordination Group (LCICG) and are available on the LCICG website.

The research at the centres is summarised below:

Big Data - UCL – Director Professor Tadj Oreszczyn

The main goal of the RCUK Centre for Energy Epidemiology will be to provide an evidence base for government and industry. The centre will use novel, UK developed, approaches to 'Energy Epidemiology' to maximise the value of existing and very large future sources of energy-related data ('big data'), ensuring the greatest impact for evidence-based energy demand research.

The largest impact will be in creating accountability for multi-£billion investments in energy efficiency in the UK. This will help meet long term carbon emission, energy security and fuel poverty targets, and help ensure that policies such as Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation deliver value for money.

Food - led by Brunel University partnered with the universities of Manchester and Birmingham – Director Professor Savvas Tassou

Taking a 'gate to plate' view the Centre for Sustainable Energy Use in Food Chains will develop innovative approaches, processes and technologies for energy demand reduction in all stages of the food chain; production, distribution, retail and consumption.

Researchers will work closely with some of the UK's major food manufacturers, retailers, equipment manufacturers and scientific and technical providers.

Materials Use - led by Cambridge – partnered with University of Bath, University of Leeds, Nottingham Trent University – Director Dr. Julian Allwood

The UK Indemand Centre will focus on reducing the use of both energy, and energy-intensive materials, in the Industries that supply the UK's physical needs, developing a better understanding of the operation and performance of the whole material and energy system of UK industry.

This will identify the policy, business and consumer triggers that would lead to significant change while supporting UK prosperity.

Practices - led by Lancaster – partnered with the universities of Aberdeen, Manchester, Leeds, Reading, Sheffield, Sussex, and UCL – Director Professor E Shove

Focusing on how demand is made and met, the DEMAND: Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand Centre will work across the sectoral boundaries of mobility and building-related energy use. It will create new methodologies, techniques and approaches for data analysis, for integrating historical research with future oriented planning, and for assessing the societal viability of technological and infrastructural innovation.

This approach will allow organisations engaged in demand management and in radically reconfiguring infrastructures, buildings and transport systems to better meet greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Technological Transitions led by University of Sussex partnered with University of Oxford

The Research Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand will develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the emergence, diffusion and impact of different types of low-energy innovations in the UK and use this understanding to inform the future development of UK energy and climate policies. Low-energy innovations could be new technologies, organisational arrangements and/or modes of behaviour that are expected to improve energy efficiency and/or reduce energy demand.

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For more media enquiries only contact:

Richard Tibenham at the EPSRC Press Office, tel: 01793 444 404, e-mail: richard.tibenham@epsrc.ac.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

1. End Use Energy Demand centres

The End Use Energy Demand centres are being jointly funded by the Research Councils UK Energy Programme (RCUK), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's (EPSRC) Manufacturing for the Future Programme. Five centres have been supported and they will run for five years. £26 million has been made available for funding of the centres by the Research Councils and an additional £13 million is being contributed by project partners.

2. End Use Energy Demand Centres Partners: RCUK CENTRE for ENERGY EPIDEMIOLOGY

Transport KTN,Intel Corporation, University of Ibadan Committee on Climate Change,The National Energy Foundation, Johnson Controls Ltd, Energy Technologies Institute, Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd, Arup Group Ltd, FuturICT, PassivSystems Limited, Aedas University of Wollongong, Wilmott Dixon Services Ltd, The Energy Saving Trust Ltd., National Physical Laboratory NPL, EDF, Technical University of Lisbon, CIBSE

DEMAND: Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand

International Energy Agency IEA, Transport for London, EDF

UK Indemand

Committee on Climate Change, Department of Communities and Local Government, RWE nPower, Furniture Recycling Network, Siemens VAI, Tata Steel, Jaguar and Land Rover; Kyocera Document Solutions (U.K.) Ltd, Arup Group Ltd, BP British Petroleum, WRAP, Green Alliance, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Dept for Env Food & Rural Affairs, Dept for Business, Innovation and Skills

CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY USE IN FOOD CHAINS

Kellogg Europe Trading Limited, PepsiCo, Chemistry Innovation Process Integration Ltd, Waitrose,H J Heinz Co Ltd., Biosciences KTN Doug Marriott Associates, WR Refrigeration, GEA Searle, Thorntons, Budgens, Premier Foods Group Ltd, The Centre for Process Innovation, Tesco, Iceland Foods Ltd, Monodraught Ltd, Marks and Spencer, Environmental Sustainability KTN, Cargill Plc, Kraft Foods Worldwide Corporate HQ, Buro Happold Ltd, Maintenance Management Ltd,Hydropac Ltd, Heineken International B.V.

Technological Transitions Transport for London, Oxfordshire County Council, SSE (Scottish and Southern Electricity) and Brighton and Hove City Council

3. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. www.epsrc.ac.uk

4. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total budget for 2012/13 is £205 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at www.esrc.ac.uk

5. The Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grants funding as part of the Research Councils' UK Energy Programme. The Research Councils UK Energy Programme led by EPSRC aims to position the UK to meet its energy and environmental targets and policy goals through world-class research and training. The Energy programme is investing more than £625 million in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. This builds on an investment of £839 million over the past eight years.

The Energy Programme brings together the work of EPSRC and that of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).



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