Universities pool resources for green energy research

Three Manchester universities, local government and industry are to form an Energy Innovation Agency to kick-start a decade of clean energy innovation to meet the region’s 2038 carbon neutral target.

The University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford will apply their energy and environmental research expertise working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and SSE Enterprise to ensure Manchester leads on ambitious regional environmental innovation and action.

The vision for the Energy Innovation Agency is to lead the transition to zero carbon society and economy by bridging the innovation gap, leading to an acceleration of emissions reductions, increased implementation of technological innovations and enhanced, forward-thinking policy agenda setting.

The new agency will act as an intermediary between the region’s world class environmental research output, industry innovators, the energy supply pipeline and stakeholders in Greater Manchester, to close the current innovation gap to zero carbon – delivering a transformation of our energy system.

Professor Colette Fagan, Vice-President for Research, The University of Manchester said: “Linking the decarbonisation agenda to economic growth through innovation is key to achieving net zero carbon. Bringing together Greater Manchester’s environmental research expertise in this new agency with the encouragement of GMCA is a significant and exciting step toward achieving a greener future.”

Professor Helen Marshall, Vice Chancellor, The University of Salford said: “Combining our own research excellence in energy and buildings, such as our major investment in Energy House 2.0, with the other GM universities research excellence in the field of energy, we can lead the way in the decarbonisation agenda and create the clean, high value jobs and businesses that this agenda has the potential to bring.”

While the UK Government set a binding target of 2050 to achieve net zero carbon, Greater Manchester set its own more ambitious 2038 deadline to decarbonise its energy system. The EIA will be a significant contributing factor in aiming to reach the aspirational target in the hope the area can be a pace-setter for the rest of the country.

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