Energy

We are working to tackle one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century – how to deliver a clean, secure and affordable energy future.

Future energy systems will need not just new technologies, but also new policies, governance arrangements, business and finance models. We will also need an understanding of their wider impacts on our economy and society. This requires significant research and innovation. 

The way we supply and use energy is changing. The traditional flow of energy from large centralised providers to consumers is being replaced by distributed and diverse sources of energy generation, while new energy-using technologies are making inroads into many aspects of our lives.

Key strengths

Energy Leeds’ vibrant community of researchers has a distinctive capability to understand whole energy systems from an interdisciplinary perspective. We are advancing research in key areas including:

  • Bioenergy
  • Nuclear science and engineering
  • Upstream oil and gas
  • Transport energy systems
  • Energy demand and efficiency
  • Low carbon transitions

Our facilities include a renewable energy laboratory, housed in our dedicated £12 million Energy Building containing a suite of platforms for assessing the performance and potential of a range of renewable energy technologies.

Our researchers are extremely well connected regionally, nationally and internationally. For example, as a key partner in the UK Energy Research Centre, we are leading research into energy, economy and social preferences. We are have forged close working relationships with industry and government, including Arup, Alstom, Drax, Northern Gas Networks and Leeds City Council, putting Energy Leeds in a strong position to guide society’s transition to a sustainable energy future.

We are working to develop the UK’s energy specialists too. We have over 100 PhD students in the energy field in our Centres for Doctoral Training in Low Carbon Technologies, Bioenergy and Fluid Dynamics.

The Leeds Biomass Continuing Professional Development programme, which has run annually from 2009, has attracted nearly 200 delegates from 60 different companies, non-governmental organisations and government departments.

Facts and figures

  • We have over 200 researchers and an annual research income of £50m (for the 2016/17 academic year).
  • Energy Leeds has a unique renewable energy laboratory, which houses a suite of rigs capable of assessing the performance and potential of a range of renewable energy technologies. The lab is housed in our dedicated £12m Energy building.
  • Leeds is ranked first in the UK for Bioenergy research funding (EPSRC).
  • Internationally recognised for our nuclear decommissioning work, we head a consortium of 10 universities and three key industry partners, looking at ways of dealing with Britain’s nuclear waste.
  • Energy Leeds has forged close working relationships with a host of partners, including Arup, Alstom, Drax, Northern Gas Networks and Leeds City Council.
  • Our Centres for Doctoral Training in Low Carbon, Bioenergy and Fluid Dynamics collectively represent over 100 PhD students in the energy field.
  • The Leeds Biomass Continuing Professional Development programme, which has run annually from 2009, has attracted nearly 200 delegates from 60 different companies, non-governmental organisations and government departments.
  • Leeds research has shown the environmental impact of biofuel production and the importance of rainforests which has influenced United Nations policy debate.

Major projects

UK Energy Research Centre

Our researchers are active in the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) which carries out research into sustainable future energy systems. UKERC acts a focal point for UK energy research and a gateway between the UK and the international energy research communities. Their research informs UK policy development and the strategies of public, private and third sector organisations. 

Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products

Working closely with government and industry, the Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products (CIE-MAP) conducts research to identify all the opportunities along the product supply chain that ultimately deliver a reduction in industrial energy use. The centre brings together the four leading UK universities of Bath, Cardiff, Leeds and Nottingham Trent with a range of expertise in engineering, economics, psychology, design, political science and governance. Funded by the Research Council’s Energy Programme, CIE-MAP forms one of six centres focuses on reducing energy demand in the UK.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Bioenergy

Bioenergy from wood, waste, agricultural residues and energy crops is a major global renewable energy source. However, there are challenges concerning technical performance, cost effectiveness, sustainable production, food security and biodiversity. Our EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Bioenergy aims to address these challenges.

Key people

Professor Peter Taylor
Theme co-leader

Professor Tim Cockerill
Theme co-leader

Jeremy Laycock-Campbell
Research and Innovation Development Officer

If you would like to work, partner or collaborate with us, or want to know more about the research we are involved with, email energy@leeds.ac.uk.