Energy storage is at the heart of the energy trilemma for clean, secure, and cost effective supply. The UK is strong in advanced materials engineering combined with unique geographical opportunities for sustainable energy storage. Technology integration and strategic deployment are essential for the UK to be world leading and to exploit material technology globally.
According to General Electric: “the development of energy storage technology is going to be one of the defining features of the 21st centuries energy landscape….it is going to be a huge market and is going to render the utilities business unrecognisable within a few decades”. Fundamentally, the most critical and enabling aspect of energy storage devices are the materials from which they are made.
Energy storage is a key enabler for clean transport and completes the renewable energy cycle. The importance of ES was highlighted in the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy green paper Building our Industrial Strategy in January 2017 that stated “Given the UK’s underlying strengths in science and energy technology, we want to be a global leader in battery technology.”
ES comprises a wide variety of technologies, all particularly dependent on advances in materials science. Resources need to be carefully allocated on selected technologies in order to achieve the world leading status. Following Oxford-led stakeholder meetings, workshops and discussion, the Royce ES theme will focus on (i) electrochemical energy storage technologies such as batteries, supercapacitors and flow cells and (ii) thermoelectric and piezoelectric devices.
Our aim is to conduct internationally leading, challenging, and potentially transformative ES research, by providing: integration and extension of existing UK research excellence in energy materials; critical mass of international excellence; collaboration and co-ordination; sharing and accessing of new, state-of-the-art facilities; operating as a beacon for excellence in UK energy storage materials; and providing a pipeline of basic science innovations for UK industry. Oxford University is the lead for the ESPRC SuperGen Energy Storage Hub (Prof Bruce) that involves a large number of academic and industrial partners, who can be integrated into the evolving Royce ES programme.
If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch.