Durham University part of new national Energy Centre

By Shubhi Sharma

Durham University is part of the new National Centre for Energy Systems Integration, an entity that will explore ways of improving energy efficiency, reduce consumer’s energy bills and lower carbon emissions. The centre was announced on 11 May 2016 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

We face the challenge of reducing carbon emissions while maintaining current rates of economic and industrial growth. It is essential we develop new energy sources that do not contribute to global warming and help mitigate the future impacts of climate change. Durham’s experts are at the forefront of developing such energy solutions. This has been emphasized by the University’s involvement in the new EPSRC National Center for Energy Systems Integration. The new £20 million center is funded by the EPSRC with Siemens and Newcastle University, and will bring together experts in the field to understand how we can optimize the energy network and inform government policy.

With it, experts will be able to, for the first time, study and test the entire energy system in real time: gas, power, renewables, heating and cooling; paving the way to a flexible smart infrastructure that will allow industry to meet the new low carbon targets.

Contributing to delivering back to the nation a secure and lower-carbon energy future

Durham University’s Jon Gluyas, Professor in Geoenergy and Carbon Capture and Storage, says: “There are many challenges that need to be addressed in order to secure future supply, for example adequate energy storage, effective roll-out of smart electricity and gas systems, adapting energy networks for the bi-directional power flows needed for distributed generation and better use of waste heat and heat networks. Durham University’s contribution to the project will include the development of new holistic statistical models for energy networks which are required for this radically different approach to energy; assessing the ethical implications of how these models are developed for future system-users; evaluation of the economic implications of future energy systems; and comprehensively mapping the current and future UK sources of energy supply, including sources of heat.

“We look forward to the challenges that this project offers and to contributing to delivering back to the nation a secure and lower-carbon energy future.”

Photograph: Samir Luther via Flickr

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