University of Glasgow launches new research centre for sustainable energy

The Glasgow Centre for Sustainable Energy will bring together academics to find ways to meet net-zero.

University of Glasgow launches Glasgow Centre for Sustainable Energy Getty Images

The University of Glasgow is launching a new research centre focused on supporting the global transition to sustainable, low-carbon energy systems.

The Glasgow Centre for Sustainable Energy brings together academics from across the University to find interdisciplinary new ways of delivering the radical reform of energy services and infrastructure required to reach net-zero.

The Centre will work to find equitable and affordable ways to reliably meet the world’s energy needs without contributing further to climate change.

The work will build on the University’s decades of research on adaptive, diversified, accessible and resilient technologies for the supply, storage, distribution and efficient use of renewable energy.

The Centre will also work to understand how new net-zero solutions might intersect with the social, political, and economic transformations required for sustainable energy transitions.

A key consideration for the Centre’s future work will be developing new ideas and strategies to ensure that future energy solutions are accessible to all, created in partnership with citizens, and fit to withstand the challenges of a rapidly-changing planet.

The Centre will also forge new partnerships with communities, governments and industry both in the UK and around the world, and build on relationships already established with key decisionmakers including the United Nations, the European Union and UK Research & Innovation.

Professor Gioia Falcone, Rankine Chair of Energy Engineering at the University’s James Watt School of Engineering, is the new centre’s Director. Professor David Flynn is the Centre’s Associate Director.

Professor Falcone said: “The International Energy Agency recently concluded, in its updated Net Zero Roadmap, that a pathway to limiting global warming to 1.5 °C is very difficult – but remains open.

“The unique value offered by the new Glasgow Centre for Sustainable Energy is its sustainable systems thinking: we see energy as a service to human development, but we also firmly believe that the energy provision needs to be sustainable and accessible to all, avoiding unintended environmental and societal consequences.

“Researchers at the University of Glasgow have been working on new ways to address these challenges for many years now. We regularly partner with industry to take fundamental research to market and with governments to keep evidence at the heart of climate debates.

“The Glasgow Centre for Sustainable Energy will bring all these activities under a single banner to help us contribute to the local, national and international decision-making about the low-carbon transition.”

Professor Chris Pearce, Vice Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange, said: “We’re delighted to be launching the Glasgow Centre for Sustainable Energy. The Centre will lead on the development of energy technologies that are truly embedded in sustainable whole-system pathways, and advance the University of Glasgow’s reputation as a leader in energy solutions.

“The Centre is the latest development in our efforts to tackle the climate crisis and support a just transition. The Centre also reflects the University’s broader commitment to finding solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges through our research, innovation, education and partnerships.”

Professor Dame Muffy Calder, the head of the College of Science and Engineering, added: “The University of Glasgow has a proud history of pioneering energy and physical sciences research thanks to the work of James Watt, Lord Kelvin, William Rankine and Joseph Black, among others.

“The Glasgow Centre for Sustainable Energy is well-placed to tackle the challenges of the future, drawing on the expertise of the University’s leading researchers of today to create the low-carbon world we need to meet our net-zero goals.“

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