RCUK commits £14m to UK Energy Research Centre

29 May 2014

The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) will continue to act as the focal point for UK energy research following today's announcement of a further £14m of funding from NERC, the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) through the RCUK Energy Programme.

Science minister David Willetts said:

"The UK is a world leader in future energy systems and the need to find new and innovative solutions has never been greater. We live in a world of climate change and energy supply challenges but with ever-increasing demand put on our energy resources. Funding new research is absolutely vital for providing future certainty for the industry."

The funding has been welcomed by UKERC research director Professor Jim Watson, who said:

"This further support for UKERC is welcome, and comes at a critical time in the development of energy systems in the UK and abroad. We know that these systems need to change radically to tackle climate change and other societal goals, but the way forward is increasingly uncertain. UKERC's research and engagement activities will help to inform policy development, industry strategies and wider energy debates."

UKERC was established in 2004 and is now in its third phase of support from the research councils. UKERC carries out world-class research into sustainable future energy systems. It is the hub of UK energy research and the gateway between the UK and the international energy research communities.

Professor Duncan Wingham, NERC's chief executive, said:

"Continued support for whole systems energy research through UKERC will help us to manage our environment responsibly by assessing the availability of natural resources for the UK energy system, including the availability and implications for UK energy security, the economy and ecosystems."

Professor Phillip Nelson, EPSRC's chief executive, said:

"Developing a coherent approach to energy policy is vital to the UK's future. The pressure on our systems from internal demand, external supply and climate change mean we must explore all avenues to establish what will fit our needs and what will reduce our carbon emissions and improve sustainability."

Professor Paul Boyle, chief executive of ESRC, said:

"Continuing to support the UK Energy Research Centre will allow us to better tackle the challenges faced by the changing energy landscape and help shape a lower carbon future. The social sciences have much to contribute to building a strong evidence base for current and future public debates."


Further information

NERC media office
01793 411561
07917 557215

EPSRC Press Office
01793 444404

Dr Matthew Aylott
UKERC Communications Officer


Notes

1. The UK Energy Research Centre
UKERC carries out world-class research into sustainable future energy systems. It is the hub of UK energy research and the gateway between the UK and the international energy research communities. Its interdisciplinary, whole systems research informs UK policy development and research strategy.

2. The Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme
The RCUK 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 £625m in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. This builds on an investment of £839m over the past eight years.

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

Press release: 15/14