The Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI) is a virtual organisation set up in 2008 with initial funding support from the Higher Education Funding Council of Wales (HEFCW). LCRI has changed the landscape of the academic discipline of energy research in Wales. The LCRI has developed capacity and facilities around the existing areas of low carbon and energy expertise in Wales whilst being international in its outlook, and with a strategic long term programme of research.
LCRI has brought together a considerable and diverse range of energy expertise throughout Wales and has coordinated research, technology development/demonstration and transfer, to enable the Welsh Government to deliver its Energy and Climate Policy agendas, whilst promoting Wales as an international showcase for sustainable low carbon energy technology. The Welsh School of Architecture are the lead partner, with the other core partner Institutions being IBERS (Aberystwyth University), the School of Chemistry (Bangor University), the Centre for Solar Energy Research (Glyndŵr University), Cardiff School of Engineering (Cardiff University), the Sustainable Environment Research Centre (University of South Wales) and the College of Engineering (Swansea). LCRI's research and postgraduate training is organised under eight low carbon themes: Bioenergy; Hydrogen Energy Systems; Large Scale Power Generation; Low Carbon Built Environment; Marine energy; Photovoltaics and Power Electronics; Low Carbon Transitions and Policy; and the Graduate School.
LCRI has attracted and helped train more than 150 key researchers in the low carbon energy field, secured a portfolio of £85 million (including match funding), and £65 million (excluding match funding) of research funds, from research councils (BBSRC, ESRC, EPSRC, NERC), EU and other government and industry bodies, and delivered a wide range of research outputs to academia, industry and government. Through its research, the LCRI has raised the profile of, and encouraged enhanced activities in, low carbon initiatives in Wales, working nationally and internationally to develop and present Wales as a leader in low carbon technologies. It is working towards long term more affordable low carbon energy deployment and costs, more efficient use of energy from different sources and end uses, less import dependence and greenhouse gas mitigation.