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UK Energy Research Centre

UK Energy Research Centre
Abbreviation UKERC
Formation 2004
Region served United Kingdom
Executive Director Prof John Loughhead OBE
Affiliations Research Councils UK
Website UKERC Website

The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) is the focal point for UK research on sustainable energy, and is central to the Research Councils' Energy Programme.[1] The centre has its headquarters at the campus of Imperial College, London, providing support to 200 researchers based in over 30 universities and research institutions across the UK.

The organisation takes an independent, whole-systems approach, drawing on technical and non-technical disciplines including engineering, economics and the physical, environmental and social sciences. The Centre helps to co-ordinate the overall UK energy research effort and acts as a bridge between the UK energy research community, the international research community, business and policymakers.[1]


  • History 1
  • Current Activity 2
    • Research Atlas 2.1
    • National Energy Research Network (NERN) 2.2
    • Sparks 2.3
    • Summer School 2.4
  • Recent Research 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5
  • References 6


UKERC was established in April 2004, following a recommendation from the 2002 Energy Review initiated by Sir David King, the UK Government's Chief Scientific Advisor.[2] The Centre was set up to address key controversies in the energy field through comprehensive assessments of the current state of knowledge.[3] The first phase of the Centre ran from 2004 - 2009.

In March 2009, £18.5 million was allocated to support the second phase of work at the UK Energy Research Centre for 2009 – 2014.[4] Under the second phase of funding, UKERC focused on five themes: Energy Demand, Energy Supply, Energy Systems, Energy and Environment, and Technology and Policy Assessment.[5]

In May 2014, the UK Energy Research Centre was awarded funding for a third phase of work, which would run from 2014 to 2019.[6]

Current Activity

UKERC's current research priorities include quantifying the impact of global changes on the UK energy market and addressing the issue of energy futures uncertainty, as the potential of technologies such as carbon capture and storage and bioenergy is still unknown, and public acceptance is unclear.

The Centre acts as the bridge between the UK energy research community and the wider world; fulfilling the role of a national energy research laboratory by both informing and representing the energy research community and acting as a catalyst for UK-wide collaboration in order to address the key energy challenges ahead.

UKERC's interdisciplinary research studentships have enabled whole-systems interdisciplinary research across scientific, engineering and socio-economic boundaries.

Full details of all UKERC's activities and research output can be found at

Research Atlas

UKERC's Research Atlas is an information resource for current and past UK energy research and development activity. The online database has information on energy-related research capabilities in the UK and a series of energy roadmaps showing research problems to be overcome before new technologies can be made commercially viable.

National Energy Research Network (NERN)

The National Energy Research Network (NERN) is open to all energy researchers and other sectors, including business, and provides updates on news, jobs, events, opportunities and developments across the energy field in the form of a weekly newsletter.


The Sparks network, hosted by UKERC, is a networking group set up for, and run by, early-career energy researchers, which aims to share insights, enhance research and provide peer support while promoting interdisciplinary research and the exchange of ideas on all aspects of energy systems.

Summer School

UKERC runs an annual Summer School, which runs for a week and combines seminars from internationally leading speakers with project work and professionally facilitated developmental activities.

Recent Research

  • Transforming the UK energy system – public values, attitudes and acceptability. Nick Pidgeon et al., July 2013
  • The UK Energy System in 2050 - comparing low-carbon, resilient scenarios. Paul Ekins et al., February 2013
  • Carbon capture and storage: realising the potential. Jim Watson (Editor) et al., April 2012
  • Energy from biomass: the size of the global resource. Raphael Slade et al., November 2011
  • Great Expectations: the cost of offshore wind in UK waters - understanding the past and projecting the future. Philip Greenacre et al., September 2010

See also

External links

  • UKERC official site


  1. ^ a b UK Energy Research Centre
  2. ^ UKERC History
  3. ^ Global Oil Depletion: An assessment of the evidence for a near-term peak in global oil production, page i, August 2009, published October 08, 2009, UK Energy Research Centre, ISBN 1-903144-03-5
  4. ^ £18 million to secure the future of UK energy research, July 2009, NERC
  5. ^ UKERC Research
  6. ^ [1]
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