From research to reality: bringing sustainable energy technologies to market

Wind turbines
17 Sep 2010 14:00:00.000


A new project led by The University of Nottingham aims to accelerate the development of a low-carbon economy in the region.

By driving forward business innovation in sustainable energy technologies, ‘Accelerating a Low-Carbon Economy’ (ALCE) will increase the East Midlands’ share of the market in this rapidly-growing field, through increased commercial activity.

The project will drive the commercialisation of new technologies – bringing them to the marketplace sooner, so they can have maximum impact in the battle against climate change.

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The ALCE project, which is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, has its official launch event on September 20th at the National College, next to the University’s Jubilee Campus.

ALCE will showcase existing and emerging low-carbon technologies, providing unique facilities for research, testing, development and demonstration. These will be for the use of developers of energy technologies, and offer University-business knowledge transfer opportunities through graduate placement schemes and collaborative research and development.

ALCE will build on the University’s Energy Technologies Research Institute (ETRI), a major international centre for energy technologies research and development. ETRI brings together more than 100 researchers across the University, with a portfolio of energy research projects worth £50m, funded by government, industry, the EU and from other sources.

The project also builds upon the success of the University’s Creative Energy Homes project – a major demonstration facility on campus comprising seven exemplar houses that showcase the very latest in sustainable architecture and low-energy living.

The University of Nottingham is a leading institution for energy research, with long-term, world-class projects aimed at tackling pressing global challenges.

Professor Colin Snape, Director of the ETRI, said: “We’re delighted to be launching this initiative and building upon the wide range of experience that we have in the fields of energy, sustainability and low-carbon technologies.

“The way we create, store and use energy has to change if the world is to combat global warming and climate change. Nottingham is at the forefront of research in this area and we believe the work we are doing now will have significant impacts on many aspects of 21st-century life.”

ALCE ties in with a new £6.5m research centre, to be built on the University’s Jubilee Campus, which will bring together world-class experts in energy research.

The Energy Technologies Building (ETB), due for completion in January 2012, underlines Nottingham’s leading role in global energy research, and its commitment to developing low-carbon technologies.

It also highlights the strength of the University’s links with industry, and its commitment to further regeneration of the former Raleigh site on which the centre will be built. The building itself will have excellent environmental credentials, with designers aiming to make it one of the lowest-carbon buildings in the country.

Research and development activity at the ETB will focus on the following themes:


• Clean fossil energy

• Renewable energy generation and storage

• Flexible electrical systems

• Hydrogen storage and energy conversion

• Bio-fuels

• Low energy buildings

• Environmental and social management


Along with the Universities of Birmingham and Loughborough, The University of Nottingham is a key partner in the Midlands Energy Consortium and the UK’s billion-pound Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). The ETI was set up to speed the UK’s efforts to establish a low-carbon economy and is a major public-private partnership that includes companies such as BP, Caterpillar, EDF Energy, E.On, Rolls-Royce and Shell.

As well as shaping the UK’s strategy on renewable energy, it brings together projects that are creating affordable, reliable and clean energy for heat, power and transportation.

Energy is one of The University of Nottingham’s key research areas, in which a concentration of expertise, collaboration and resources create significant critical mass. Other key research areas at Nottingham include aerospace, drug discovery, food security, biomedical imaging, advanced manufacturing, integrating global society, operations in a digital world, and science, technology & society.

Through these groups, Nottingham researchers aim to make a major impact on global challenges.

More information on the ALCE launch event is at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/ALCE


— Ends —



More information is available from Sue Bell, ALCE Interim Project Manager, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 8467668,

sue.bell@nottingham.ac.uk; or Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications, University of Nottingham on +44 (0)115 846 8092, tim.utton@nottingham.ac.uk


Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Times as Britain's “only truly global university”, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.

The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 39,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.

More news from the University at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/news

Facts and figures at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/about/facts/factsandfigures.aspx

Story credits

More information is available from Sue Bell, ALCE Interim Project Manager, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 8467668,


Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: tim.utton@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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