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UK research is pioneering a low carbon future

07 December 2009

Research Councils UK Energy Programme led by EPSRC is investing more than £530 million in UK research to develop low carbon technologies to fight the effects of climate change. A new website to highlight and explain this work has now been launched and is available at

Research is key to achieving a low carbon future that is affordable whilst conserving natural resources and protecting the environment. The new website gives details of research currently being funded as well as examples of low carbon technologies that have made a huge impact on society and the economy.

Some of the areas of research highlighted on the website include:

  • Energy efficiency – 14 million partnership with the Carbon Trust for the ‘Carbon Vision’ programme funding research into domestic and industrial energy demand reduction.
  • Nuclear Fusion – UK Fusion Programme based at world leading Culham Science Centre and several studentships awarded to sustain UK skills base.
  • Hydrogen and fuel cell technology – 11 projects in collaboration with industry and £17.7 million of research into hydrogen fuel cell technology.
  • Nuclear fission – £41 million portfolio of 20 research projects, seven in collaboration with industry.
  • Solar power – £50 million funding of 59 projects including the SUPERGEN consortiums and a collaborative research project with the Indian Department for Science and Technology.
  • Wind power – A number of collaborative research projects with industry as well as the SUPERGEN Wind consortium and a new Centre for Doctoral Training at the University of Strathclyde.

Other areas of research being supported by the RCUK Energy Programme include bioenergy, cleaner fossil fuels, marine power, energy networks and carbon storage and policy society and economics.

Research Councils UK Champion for Energy and EPSRC Chief Executive Dave Delpy says: “Scientists and engineers in the UK have developed groundbreaking low carbon technologies to help us reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. We must continue to support this research into how to deploy these devices in the most efficient and cost effective manner that has the least impact on the natural environment.”

The RCUK Energy Programme is bringing together engineers and scientists with industry partners including E.ON UK, EDF Energy, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) and many more.

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Chloë Somers
RCUK Press Officer
Tel: 01793 444592

About Research Councils UK

Research Councils UK is the strategic partnership of the UK's seven Research Councils. We invest annually around £3 billion in research. Our focus is on excellence with impact. We nurture the highest quality research, as judged by international peer review providing the UK with a competitive advantage. Global research requires we sustain a diversity of funding approaches, fostering international collaborations, and providing access to the best facilities and infrastructure, and locating skilled researchers in stimulating environments. Our research achieves impact – the demonstrable contribution to society and the economy made by knowledge and skilled people. To deliver impact, researchers and businesses need to engage and collaborate with the public, business, government and the third sector.

The seven UK Research Councils are:

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC);
  • Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC);
  • Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC);
  • Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC);
  • Medical Research Council (MRC);
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC);
  • Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).