Supergen programme delivers net zero conference exploring the role of energy research ahead of COP26

The Supergen Net Zero Conference took place on the 1-3 September 2021. Researchers and stakeholders from the six Supergen Hubs/Networks (covering storage, bioenergy, solar, offshore renewables, hydrogen and fuel cells, and energy networks) came together ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow later this year, with a showcase designed to connect research across the Supergen programme, as well as, show what the next steps should be for UK research and innovation to meet our global commitments.

The recordings of all the conference sessions are available on our YouTube channel here.

The role, value and needs of Energy Storage for Net-Zero by 2050

Dr Haris Patsios from Newcastle University, a co-director of the Supergen Network+, chaired “The role, value and needs of Energy Storage for Net-Zero by 2050” session. Haris also introduced the Supergen Network+’s main objectives and activities and its role in supporting early career researchers, academic/industry engagement, and UK research and innovation. Over 100 attendees joined the session.

Our first speaker was Prof. Andrew Cruden from University of Southampton and Supergen Network+ Co-I. He explained how energy storage can support the transition of transport to net-zero. Key messages that he conveyed include: technology race remains in battery materials; government support and subsidy delivers changes; recycle and re-use of end of life batteries are crucial; vehicle to grid (V2G) is key to enable linkage between transport energy storage and grid sectors. Prof. Zhibin Yu from the University of Glasgow discussed the importance of thermal storage in heating and cooling decarbonisation. He highlighted the challenges in meeting the winter peak for heating and the important role of both inter-seasonal and short term thermal energy storage”. Prof. Jihong Wang from University of Warwick and Deputy Director of the Supergen Network+ focused on the need for large scale energy storage in the power sector. She summarised the needs and market proposition for large scale long duration energy storage.

A panel discussion followed including the speakers and Dr. Bart de Leeuw, Head of Smart Energy Innovation from BEIS, who gave a policy perspective, and Dr Yongliang Li, University of Birmingham, who discussed heating and cooling aspects.

Introduction to Supergen Network+, Haris Patsios, Newcastle University

The role, value and needs of Energy Storage to Net-Zero 2050 – Transport, Andrew Cruden, University of Southampton

The Role of Thermal Storage in the Future Net-Zero Heating and Cooling System, Zhubin Yu, University of Glasgow

Electrical Energy Storage Need for Net-Zero 2050, Jihong Wang, University of Warwick

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