WBS in £5.25m project to reduce UK's energy

02 May 2013

David Elmes

Warwick Business School is to be part of a £5.25m project to develop energy-efficient heating and cooling technologies that will reduce UK energy needs.

i-STUTE - the Interdisciplinary centre for Storage, Transformation and Upgrading of Thermal Energy – has been funded by the UK Research Councils’ Energy Programme. It will develop technologies to reduce energy consumption and deliver cost-effective heating and cooling which will help the UK achieve its target of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 80 per cent by 2050.

With more than 40 per cent of fossil fuels used for low temperature heating and 16 per cent of electricity used for cooling, these are key areas to address if the UK is to meet its targets.

The new centre will bring together cutting-edge engineering advances with economic, behavioural and policy expertise to produce solutions that are both technically excellent but also appealing to business, end-users, manufacturers and installers.

Researchers at i-STUTE aim to reduce energy consumption across a wide range of heating and cooling technology, including domestic heating, retail and commercial energy use, thermal energy storage, industrial heat pumps and thermal transformers.

This centre will bring together technologists from the University of Warwick’s School of Engineering and researchers at Warwick Business School together with London South Bank University, the University of Ulster and Loughborough University.

Professor David Elmes, head of Warwick Business School’s Global Energy Group, said: “This is a very exciting and challenging project, which is vitally important if the UK is to meet its targets for cutting carbon emissions.

“Researchers from the Global Energy Group and Behavioural Science Group in Warwick Business School will join the scientists and engineers from Warwick and the partner institutions to explore what solutions for heating and cooling will be the ones people will invest in and use.”

Professor Bob Critoph, Director of i-STUTE, said: “The technologies we use to heat and cool the buildings we live and work in will have to change if we are to meet our environmental targets.

“This is not simply a major engineering challenge, a great deal of work also needs to be done to make sure this technology is not only accessible and appealing but will be readily adopted by households and businesses.

“i-STUTE aims to tackle these two challenges by integrating engineering, behavioural economics and policy research.”





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