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ERA: Big Ideas Webinars – Summer 2020


Alternative Fuels: Low Carbon Gases – 2 June Alternative Fuels: Low Carbon Liquids – 8 June Heat – TBC Energy Storage – TBC




Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

The Event

ERA is made up of 3 SWM member universities; Aston University, University of Birmingham, and Keele University. As ERA reaches the end of its £60 million capital build programme, which has focused on the development of 23 test and demonstration facilities, it has been through a process of examining how to apply its academic capability and facilities to a series of major research, development and demonstration challenges which face the UK as it accelerates the delivery of low-carbon solutions towards 2050. This has resulted in a series of ‘Big Ideas’ focussed on:
  • Implementation and demonstration of next-generation fuels;
  • Medium-term, large-scale, energy storage;
  • Integrating the circular economy with zero carbon and CCUS acceleration;
  • Grid-scale electricity system modelling for future-proofing infrastructure;
  • A National Centre for Decarbonisation of Heat, NCDH, and
  • Behavioural transition for a low-carbon future.
ERA has created a number of platforms for the development of these Big Ideas which include the Tyseley Energy Park, the Trent Basin housing development in Nottingham and the Keele campus. ERA is also actively pursuing the creation of new activities associated with the redevelopment of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station near Nottingham. In each case the aim is to support a transition, in close alliance with industry and the public sector, which also links to the underpinning research expertise. The Big Ideas workshop webinar series starts this spring and summer and will cover the following subjects:
  • Behavioural change – Has the decline in transport and industrial activity as a result of COVID19 given us a glimpse into the behaviours needed to achieve low-carbon future? What other changes also need to take place and what are the issues?
  • Energy Storage – What are the technologies available for short term, medium term and long-term storage. What is preventing the commercialisation of new energy storage technologies?
  • Heat – What’s the best way to decarbonise heat networks?
  • Alternative Fuels:
    • Low Carbon Gases – What are the latest technologies and the potential applications for them? What are the challenges that need to be overcome to achieve this?
    • Low Carbon Liquid Fuels – What is the potential for low carbon liquid fuel technologies in the transport sector?

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