£60 Million Invested In Heating and Cooling Research

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, in March announced that the UK Government was to make available the sum of £60 million to invest in energy research.

This investment capital is helping to support the work of seven Midlands-based universities boasting a particularly strong background in researching new heating and cooling technologies. These Universities include the University of Birmingham, Aston, Nottingham, Loughborough, Warwick, Leicester and the British Geological Survey,  a group collectively referred to as the ‘Energy Research Accelerator’ (ERA).

In fact, last Friday (11th September) saw in excess of 30 academics and businesses attend a seminar at the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham to better understand how the ERA will operate and best utilise the funding. The ERA itself is a hub for research and its work will be central to finding out how to best provide long term energy security, low carbon and affordable energy for UK businesses and households.

The Research

CEO of ERA, Gordon Waddington, explained that the group is eager to fund research on the storage of cold and hot energy, with particular emphasis on overcoming the current challenges inherent in using thermal energy.

The host of the event, Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute, also offered his insight into the magnitude of the challenge, stating that 40% of the energy the UK uses comes from heat demand, with cold and cooling accounting for between 10% and 15% of UK electricity demand.

It is the aim of the ERA to, through the government’s funding, bring the challenges of heat and cold demand together, both driving and coordinating research activity to solve these challenges.

In-keeping with this, in attendance at the event were speakers from universities and companies with the ERA. These covered some of the more important research areas relating to heating and cooling -  for instance, biomass, deep geothermal technologies, heat pumps, combined heat and power (CHP) and district heating.

Given Rapid Climate Control pride ourselves on staying at the forefront of heating and cooling technologies and developing climate control solutions that meet even the most challenging of client needs, we’ll be watching these developments closely and sharing them with you.