Energy Programme

The Energy Programme 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 (December 2011).

Led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), 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).

Why energy research matters

Research is the key to achieving an affordable low carbon energy system whilst conserving our natural resources, the environment and our quality of life.

Key drivers

To help combat climate change the UK has a target to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, an enormous task requiring changes to every sector of energy generation, supply, use and regulation. These reductions need to be delivered while creating a secure energy system for the UK, providing affordable energy, enabling continued economic growth and limiting impact on scarce natural resources and the environment.

Challenges

The key short term challenge is to rapidly accelerate the deployment of green energy technologies that decarbonise our energy supply and increase energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport sectors. There is also an opportunity to develop existing networks and infrastructure to support the changing energy landscape, such as through carbon capture and storage and large scale deployment of renewables.

Research for our future

It is only through fundamental research focused on addressing these challenges that truly transformative changes to our energy future beyond 2050 can occur. The energy programme is uniquely positioned to provide policy makers with guidance about the development of potential energy scenarios and their impact on citizens, the economy and the environment. This demands understanding of behaviour change, environmental systems analysis and technological innovation.

For further information on the programme please see our contacts page.

Further information on the programme can be found via the links below: