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The Energy Systems Research Institute was open between 2015 and 2021. This page shows the Institute’s past work. It is not monitored or updated.

We believe that future energy systems will need to address availability and security of supply; affordability and public acceptance; and reduced environmental impact. By bringing together expertise and experience from a range of academic disciplines, we look at future energy systems from a fresh perspective.

Image of a power plant

In order to respond to these challenges significant innovation in 'energy systems' is required. Yet any given piece of innovation cannot simply take place in isolation of other aspects of the energy system. For example, if we increase the amount of electrical power that we generate from renewable sources which might be located some distance from where the power is eventually used, we must find ways to strengthen the energy supply infrastructure and ensure it is capable of transporting the power to where it is needed.

If we look to diversify the ways in which we generate power and move away from our reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports, we need to find ways to obtain power from alternative sources in a way which is less damaging to the environment and which is acceptable for communities and countries.

Image of an Electricity pylon

Simultaneously a 'whole systems approach' must examine demand for and use of energy, as well as its generation and supply. Sustainable design in the built environment and better ways to monitor and manage energy consumption within buildings are key components of our future energy system.

It is also vital to understand the ways in and reasons for which people and communities use energy; engagement of consumers is key to a transition to a low carbon and affordable energy system. All of these fields of work require the collection and management of vast quantities of data, and our Research Institute brings expertise in big data management and modelling.

Through our research we will address these challenges through original and inventive thinking. New technologies need to be created; existing ones refined and developed.