The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) will continue to act as the focal point of UK energy research following the announcement today of a further £14 million of funding from three research councils EPSRC, NERC and ESRC via 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 Philip 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 the Economic and Social Research Council, 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."
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."