Lancaster academics part of national energy storage network

Energy pylons

Energy storage experts at Lancaster University are part of a new national network created to tackle urgent challenges in the field.

The Supergen Energy Storage Network+ 2019 will connect researchers from diverse disciplines and support new collaborations and innovative research.

The Network, which is led by the Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage (BCES), has secured £1M in funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and has a core partnership of 19 investigators from 12 UK institutions, all focused on creating, exchanging and disseminating energy storage expertise.

A further 60 organisations from the UK and abroad have pledged support for the network, 40 of which are associate partners with the network.

The UK is a world leader in energy storage research, an area that is fundamental for the development of global energy systems. Energy storage has the potential to sustainably provide security and resilience against energy supply uncertainties and enhance affordability. However, further interdisciplinary research collaboration will increase the energy storage community's ability to deliver significant societal impact and continued research excellence.

Dr Alexandra Gormally is a Geographer at the Lancaster Environment Centre with a background in energy research. She brings expertise around the social aspects of energy storage, particularly underground energy storage and questions around governance.

She said: “Energy storage will be a vital part of our energy infrastructure as we transition to a low-carbon society, however we still face many challenges in how to bring this to fruition. We already know providing solutions to our energy transition will not only be through technical and engineering innovations, it will also require exploring fundamental societal questions that need to be addressed. This diverse network will enable a range of disciplines and expertise to come together to push forward our approach to energy storage and I look forward to representing the Energy and Society theme from Energy Lancaster, in this network going forward.”

Professor Yulong Ding, BCES Director and Principal Investigator of the Network+ said: “Our aim is to create a dynamic, strategic and sustainable platform, which connects and serves people from diverse backgrounds across the whole energy storage value chain. We will increase connectivity among the diverse energy storage community, improve the environment for early career researchers (ECRs) and address issues of equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) in the field. As a whole community, we have a clear opportunity to strengthen and solidify the UK’s position as a world leader in energy storage.”

The Network+ program will focus particularly on creating an accessible map and directory of energy storage expertise to improve collaboration; mentoring and engaging ECRs; understanding and improving ED&I and facilitating stakeholder engagement and knowledge transfer across discipline and sector.

During the course of the grant the Network+ will also fund a number of feasibility studies.

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