Materials for the Energy Transition Roadmapping Process

Convening the UK materials community to support the UK's net-zero energy transition

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From March 2020 through to June 2020, the materials community convened with a programme of roadmapping exercises on the theme of Materials for the Energy Transition.

Through workshops, community-led activities and a robust roadmapping methodology developed by experts at the Institute for Manufacturing, five technology roadmaps have been produced, setting out where materials research can make a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

This far-reaching activity has brought together over 220 material science experts to create roadmaps that:

  • provide an understanding of the currently-deployed technologies for each topic
  • define significant technical challenges and barriers to impact on net-zero targets
  • define future challenges in contributing to net-zero targets
  • identify solutions to these challenges
  • identify the desired performance targets of those solutions.
  1. Infrastructure: the need for innovation infrastructure to transfer technology from laboratory to prototype devices
  2. Facilities: the requirement to establish national facilities for device metrology and degradation testing
  3. A national approach: greater UK-wide coordination of industrial and academic research programmes
  4. Investment: targeted Government funding to unlock the potential of materials
  5. New laws: legislation for the uptake and implementation of low-carbon technology
  6. Sustainability: the researched materials should be resource abundant, scalable and recyclable
  7. People: the requirement to develop the skills base and close gaps, including training on facility operations, PhD programmes and postdoctoral researcher support
Roadmap Webinar | 15 June 2020

On 15 June 2020, Royce and IOP held a roadmap webinar to update the materials community, policymakers and funders on the ongoing roadmapping activity.

The webinar was opened by Baroness Brown of Cambridge who explored the importance of the roadmapping in light of the 2019 CCC report. Attendees then heard from four world-leading materials scientists who discussed the roadmapping in the context of the broader energy research field. The technical leads for each of the five roadmap areas then presented overviews of the key findings.

Executive Summary

The event was also used to launch an Executive Summary of the five Materials for the Energy Transition roadmaps which can be viewed here.

Webinar Recordings

The agenda is listed here with links to the individual recordings.

(09:30 – 09:40) Introduction from Baroness Brown & Prof Neil Alford 

(09:40 – 10:20) Plenary Session including talks from:

Prof Clare Gray (Cambridge)
Prof Jenny Nelson (Imperial College London)
Prof Nora de Leeuw (University of Leeds)
Prof Stuart Parkin (Max Planck, Halle)




(10:40 – 11:10) Key findings from technical leads:

Photovoltaics (Dr Robert Hoye | Imperial College London)
Hydrogen Production (Dr Ifan Stephens | Imperial College London)
Thermoelectronics (Dr Xavier Moyes | University of Cambridge)
Calorics (Dr Oliver Fenwick | Queen Mary University of London)
Low Loss Electronics (Dr Edmund Linfield | University of Leeds)

Materials for the Energy Transition Roadmap Theme Leads
Dr Ifan Stephens
Head and shoulders profile picture of Professor Edmund Linfield