UK Energy Research Centre

UK Energy Research Centre
Abbreviation UKERC
Formation April 2004 (2004-04)
Region served
United Kingdom
Jim Watson
Affiliations Research Councils UK

The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) is the focal point for UK research on sustainable energy, and is central to the Research Councils' Energy Programme.[1] The centre has its headquarters at the campus of Imperial College, London, providing support to 70 researchers based in 11 universities and research institutions across the UK: UCL; Strathclyde; Leeds; Imperial College London; Exeter; Sussex; the University of East Anglia; the Plymouth Marine Laboratory; Cardiff; Oxford; Aberdeen.

The organisation takes an independent, whole-systems approach, drawing on technical and non-technical disciplines including engineering, economics and the physical, environmental and social sciences. The Centre helps to co-ordinate the overall UK energy research effort and acts as a bridge between the UK energy research community, the international research community, business and policymakers.[1]


UKERC was established in April 2004, following a recommendation from the 2002 Energy Review initiated by Sir David King, the UK Government's Chief Scientific Advisor.[2] The Centre was set up to address key controversies in the energy field through comprehensive assessments of the current state of knowledge.[3] The first phase of the Centre ran from 2004 - 2009.

In March 2009, £18.5 million was allocated to support the second phase of work at the UK Energy Research Centre for 2009 – 2014.[4] Under the second phase of funding, UKERC focused on five themes: Energy Demand, Energy Supply, Energy Systems, Energy and Environment, and Technology and Policy Assessment.[5]

In May 2014, the UK Energy Research Centre was awarded funding for a third phase of work, which would run from 2014 to 2019.[6]

Current Activity

UKERC's third phase combines a research programme focused on six core themes: future energy system pathways; resources and vectors; energy systems at multiple scales; energy, economy and societal preferences; decision making; technology, policy and assessment - with an HQ function aimed at engaging with the wider UK energy research community, policy makers and energy industry.

The Centre acts as the bridge between the UK energy research community and the wider world; fulfilling the role of a national energy research laboratory by both informing and representing the energy research community and acting as a catalyst for UK-wide collaboration in order to address the key energy challenges ahead.

UKERC's interdisciplinary research studentships have enabled whole-systems interdisciplinary research across scientific, engineering and socio-economic boundaries.

Full details of all UKERC's activities and research output can be found at

Research Atlas

UKERC's Research Atlas is an information resource for current and past UK energy research and development activity. The online database has information on energy-related research capabilities in the UK and a series of energy roadmaps showing research problems to be overcome before new technologies can be made commercially viable.

National Energy Research Network (NERN)

The National Energy Research Network (NERN) is open to all energy researchers and other sectors, including business, and provides updates on news, jobs, events, opportunities and developments across the energy field in the form of a weekly newsletter.

Summer School

UKERC runs an annual Summer School, which runs for a week and combines seminars from internationally leading speakers with project work and professionally facilitated developmental activities.

Recent Research

See also


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