UK-India Joint Virtual Clean Energy Centre announced

Supplementary content information

A new £10 million collaborative research project between the UK and India that will address the challenge of integrating intermittent, renewable energy sources with energy storage for both grids and isolated communities in India and UK, was announced today by the UK Science Minister, Jo Johnson and Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, India.

Also announced is a future £7.4 million joint programme on Energy Demand Reduction in the Built Environment that will develop new technologies to reduce energy demand and carbon emissions. UK funding for both initiatives has come through the Newton Fund.

The investments were among a series announced to coincide with the UK-India Tech Summit being held in New Delhi.

The Centre, which will be delivered through the RCUK Energy Programme involving the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and other research councils, brings together leading experts from the UK and India with complementary expertise and experience to address technical challenges associated with rapidly growing solar generation in both countries.

The UK-India Joint Virtual Clean Energy Centre will be formed from three sub-centres coming together for a joint research effort. In the UK this is the Joint UK-India Clean Energy Centre (JUICE), and in India, the India-UK Centre for Education and Research in Clean Energy (IUCERCE) and the India-UK Clean Energy Research Centre (UKICERCE).

The project will be funded through the Newton Fund and involve ten UK universities and 17 institutions in India.

The Centre will be led by Professor Ralph Gottschalg (Loughborough University) in the UK, and Dr Chandan Chakraborty (Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur), and Professors Baylon Fernandes and Prakash Ghosh (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay) in India.

Professor Gottschalg said: The provision of reliable and affordable electricity to the people and business is critical for the economic growth and prosperity of any nation. Our research will focus on finding out how we can best mesh renewable supply and storage technologies with national and local micro grids. The challenges are similar in newly industrialised and industrialised countries.

The centre will consolidate collaborative research activities supported by the Department of Science & Technology (DST) in India and RCUK in the UK on renewables, network and storage technologies. It will develop and grow future collaborative research, and foster knowledge transfer activities across the two countries.

The joint research programme on Energy Demand Reduction in the Built Environment will focus on energy demand research on the building envelope, cooling and heating and user practices; city and community level energy efficient technologies and research on urban planning an energy management; and the integration of ICT and renewable technologies at building, community and city levels.

Reducing energy demand is a crucial requirement for sustainable economic growth in India while reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy security, and this research will guide urban planners in India as they develop smart cities and could lead to improved health and wellbeing and lower energy costs for building users.

The programme will support a number of collaborative grants and bring together researchers from the UK and India in a network that will provide them with a forum to share their findings and explore further joint opportunities.

Notes for Editors:

JUICE

is a consortium of ten universities:

  • Loughborough University
  • University of Birmingham
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Exeter
  • Imperial College London
  • Oxford University
  • The University of Manchester
  • Southampton University
  • Swansea University
  • University of Warwick.

UKICERI (UK India Clean Energy Research Institute)

  • IIT Kharagpur
  • IISc Bangalore
  • IIT Dehli
  • IIT Kanpur
  • IIT Madras
  • IIT Bhubaneswar
  • MNIT Jaipur
  • IIEST Shibpur
  • IISER Pune
  • CECRI Karaikudi

IUCERCE (India-UK Centre for Education and Research in Clean Energy)

  • IIT Bombai
  • IIT Kanpur
  • IIT Hyderabad
  • IIT Guwahati
  • CDAC
  • IISc Bangalore
  • NISE

RCUK Energy Programme

The Research Councils UK Energy Programme aims to position the UK to meet its energy and environmental targets and policy goals through world-class research and training. The Energy Programme is investing more than £625 million in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. Led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Energy Programme brings together the work of EPSRC and that of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Newton Fund

The Newton Fund builds science and innovation partnerships with 16 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth. It has a total UK Government investment of £735 million up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries.

The Newton Fund is managed by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through 15 UK Delivery Partners, which include the Research Councils, the UK Academies, the British Council, Innovate UK and the Met Office.

For further information visit the Newton Fund website and follow via Twitter: @NewtonFund

Reference: PN 61-16

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