New global clean energy centre to be led by University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is to be the UK lead for a new £6.2m Global Centre in Clean Energy.

Funded by UK Research and Innovation, the Global Centre for Clean Energy and Equitable Transportation Solutions (CLEETS), will focus on reducing emissions from road transport, using three regions as case studies: the West Midlands and South Wales in the UK, and the Great Lakes megaregion of the US.

The University of Birmingham, which has received £3.2m in funding for the centre, is joined by Cardiff University as a UK project partner. The Discovery Partners Institute, part of the University of Illinois System, will be leading the project in the US with a $5m award from the National Science Foundation.

The Centre will be led in the UK by Dr Jonathan Radcliffe, Reader in Energy Systems and Policy at the University of Birmingham, with an interdisciplinary team of academics who have expertise in energy and transport demand, air quality and health, and local governance.

Dr Radcliffe said: “Designing a decarbonised transport system that meets the needs of the economy and communities, whilst being equitable and resilient, needs an approach that integrates research from across disciplines, with the private sector and policy making. Decarbonising transport will be intricately coupled to the energy system, so we need a joined-up approach. This Global Centre gives us the opportunity to develop solutions in the UK and US at a scale that can transform our cities and regions.”

The University of Birmingham will also be collaborating on the Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Center, which involves partners in the US, Canada, UK and Australia, with the UK consortia led by Cranfield University and includes Newcastle University, the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London. It will provide broad coverage of all major technologies for net-zero hydrogen production to de-risk the global challenge of cost reduction and scale-up.