National Energy Research Network


NERN Newsletter

Welcome to the National Energy Research Network newsletter, which is published weekly and aims to provide relevant information to energy researchers. Extra content is always welcome - if you would like something added please contact the editor, Dr Mike Weston. You can view previous NERN newsletters in the archive.

Newsletter 294 - 29/08/14

UKERC Twitter feed

Interesting developments


Jobs and opportunities


Events and Conferences

NERN blog

UKERC Twitter feed

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Interesting developments

TfL to test IPT wireless charging technology on 4 extended range diesel electric hybrid buses next year

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 29 September 2014 12:52 BST - (14 Reads)

Transport for London will trial inductive charging systems provided by IPT Technology on up to four extended range diesel electric hybrid buses in east London from next year. The specially built hybrid double deck buses will operate on route 69 between Canning Town and Walthamstow bus stations. The Alexander Dennis double-deck Enviro400H E400 buses will be fitted with technology enabling on-board batteries to receive a wireless charge boost at bus stands at either end of the route. It is hoped this will enable the buses to operate in pure electric mode for a significant period of the time they are in passenger service.

Route 69 is operated by Stagecoach. The other partners in this project are Siemens (for supplying the plug-in chargers based at West Ham bus garage) and TRL and TTR (provided monitoring and evaluation support).

This trial is part funded as part of a wider European Program called Zero Emissions Urban Bus System (ZeEUS) which is co-ordinated by the International Association of Public Transport (UITP, L’Union Internationale des Transports Publics).

TfL is leading a consortium of suppliers all working together to deliver and assess how the technology works in London. These include Alexander Dennis which is delivering the vehicles and IPT Technology which is supplying the bus station charging technology.

The introduction of this technology will complement the existing trial of six pure electric single deck buses, which represent the first step of the Mayor’s plan for all single deck buses in central London to be zero emission at tailpipe, as part of the world’s first Ultra Low Emission Zone, from 2020. A further two pure electric buses are expected to enter service later this year.

For more information please go here.


European Gas Reverses Biggest Drop Since 2009 on Ukraine

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 29 September 2014 12:48 BST - (15 Reads)

European natural gas prices are reversing their biggest slump in five years as concern mounts that tension between Russia and Ukraine will again disrupt flows to the region.

Gas for next-month delivery in the UK rallied 17 percent over the past six weeks as Ukraine said it may ban OAO Gazprom, Europe’s biggest supplier, from shipping the fuel across its territory because of Russia’s support of separatists. The Moscow-based company, which meets 15 percent of European gas demand through Soviet-era pipelines across Ukraine, halted supplies to its neighbour on June 16 in a debt and price dispute.

Gas storage in Ukraine is less than half full and the nation began this month to limit domestic use to conserve fuel. UK prices, the regional benchmark, fell to their lowest since 2010 last month after a mild winter left storage sites across the 28-nation European Union at their fullest for this time of year since 2008. Wholesale costs next quarter will be 11 percent higher than what companies are paying for that period now, according to a forecast by Societe Generale SA in Paris.

UK gas for next-month delivery gained 6.05 pence since falling to a four-year low on July 8 to 41.3 pence a therm ($6.87 a million British thermal units) at 5:06 pm in London, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. The front-month price is the lowest for this time of year since 2010.

Gas flows to Europe were interrupted for 13 days during freezing weather in January 2009 in a similar dispute between Russia and Ukraine. Gas for same-day delivery surged as much as 27 percent the day before the stoppage.

For more information please go here.


Commission content

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 29 September 2014 12:31 BST - (16 Reads)

Final report by the Transport Advisory Group (TAG) on Societal Challenge 4 - 'Smart, Green and Integrated Transport’ available - The Transport Advisory Group is tasked with making recommendations to the European Commission as to the future priorities for research under its dedicated Societal Challenge of Horizon 2020. This final report summarises the response of the Transport Advisory Group (TAG) to seven questions listed in the ‘Consultation of the Horizon 2020 Advisory Groups’ document.

Apart from identifying a large number of recent developments that will need to be taken into account when shaping the future transport research agenda under next parts of Horizon 2020, such as trend-breach, or new technologies and life-styles, the report also highlights the major challenges in this area, including making the transport system more resilient to extreme weather, or reducing the loss of life and adverse health effects associated with transport.

Furthermore, the report also includes information on potential barriers, or constraints and risks to transport research and provides recommendations to ease them by, for example, promoting regular dialogues between researchers, policy-makers and practitioners to define and review transport research agendas.

The report concludes that as a consequence of various developments in the area of transport, the objectives, approaches and content of transport research require significant changes, which should also be reflected in the transport programme devised for future parts of Horizon 2020.

Which Materials for Sustainable Construction? - The European Commission has launched a survey to develop a research and innovation roadmap and answer the question: Which Materials for Sustainable Construction?

With a deadline of 30th September 2014, the survey is intended to gather information from experts in the field and aims to:

identify and prioritise research and innovation needs for new advanced materials meeting the challenges and the new legislation for sustainable and competitive construction; and,

propose solutions to overcome barriers to exploitation and deployment of research results in the construction industry.

Final Report of Horizon 2020 Advisory Group on 'Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials' published - The Horizon 2020 Advisory Group on 'Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials' has produced a report to provide guidance to the European Commission to inform Horizon 2020 Societal Challenge 5.

The report stressed the scale of the challenge, and emphasised the importance of ensuring that activity across all of the Other Horizon 2020 challenges is designed to include Societal Challenge 5. The Advisory Group particularly cited Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing, Food, Agriculture, Marine Research and the Bio-economy; and Energy and Transport.

The Advisory Group considered the four priority areas (Systemic Eco-innovation; Climate Services; Nature-based Solutions & Sustainable Supply of Raw Materials) during their assessment of the European Commission's delivery of a solution oriented programme with Horizon 2020

The Advisory group also listed a number of cross-cutting issues which did not naturally fall into the four priority areas.  Road maps for the period until 2020 capturing strategic actions, stakeholders and expected outcomes/impacts for each of the priority areas can be found in the Annexes attached to the report.


Young Innovators Competition

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 29 September 2014 12:17 BST - (16 Reads)

The ITU Telecom World Young Innovators Competition in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) is looking for innovative ideas on how information and communication technologies (ICTs) can help smart cities to slow down or mitigate the effects of climate change. This might include novel technologies or combinations of existing technologies, services, and systems which would shape a smart city. It may focus on monitoring of or reporting on climate change, mitigating or adapting the impact of climate change on society, or on changes in technology and society that lead to a greener community.

For this challenge, ITU Telecom World Young Innovators Competition calls on young people around the world to work together on concepts for new and innovative social startups using the various elements of smart cities to help the communities of the future to adapt to, or reduce the severity of, climate change. At the end of the competition, two winners will join ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha, Qatar, from December 7-10 to pitch their ideas in front of industry leaders and national governments, participate in workshops, benefit from a year of ongoing mentorship, and win  up to $5 000 in seed funding.

For more information please go here.


Committee on Climate Change Call for evidence: draft adaptation indicators

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Tue 30 September 2014 12:11 BST - (14 Reads)

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) carries out consultations and calls for evidence to gather the views of a wide range of climate change experts when developing its advice. The Adaptation Sub-Committee (run by the CCC) intends to use a set of indicators to prepare its statutory report on the National Adaptation Programme in 2015. The Committee is now requesting views on this draft set of indicators, specifically on how relevant and complete they are.

For more information please go here. The closing date for responses is the 30th September 2014


Joint UKERC / EFL Lecture: Stephen Fitzpatrick, Ovo Energy, 13th November

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 29 September 2014 12:08 BST - (15 Reads)

UKERC & EFL are jointly hosting a free evening lecture on the 13th of November with Stephen Fitzpatrick the Founder and CEO, Ovo Energy. The event will be held at 6pm in the Clore Lecture Theatre, Huxley Building in Imperial College’s South Kensington Campus

Stephen Fitzpatrick founded Ovo Energy in September 2009 determined to do things differently. From his kitchen table in Gloucestershire, Stephen set about challenging the industry status quo: he wanted to create a simple, honest and competitively priced energy company that treated its customers fairly. Today, Ovo is one of the fastest growing and most innovative independent energy suppliers in the UK, with over 500 staff and 360,000 customers.

Prior to Ovo Energy, Stephen spent five years as a trader at Société Générale and JP Morgan.  As a senior vice president at JP Morgan, he was responsible for the day-to-day trading in a number of sectors including Industrials and Utilities. No stranger to start-ups, before working in the City Stephen launched The Rental Guide Ltd, a successful property newspaper, for which he was a national finalist in the Livewire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

For more information please go here.


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This week's reports

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 29 September 2014 09:59 BST - (14 Reads)

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Jobs and opportunities

Research Assistant in Transitional Energy Strategies, University of Cambridge

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 05 September 2014 11:21 BST - (18 Reads)

A position exists for a Research Assistant in the Department of Engineering to provide technical and organisational support in the definition and conduct of research into transitional energy strategies, with particular emphasis on low carbon power generation & distribution and low carbon transport applications. The person appointed to this position will have an undergraduate degree in engineering, and will have a good appreciation and/or experience of matters relating to electricity generation (particularly nuclear and solar powered systems) and transport (particularly electric and ultra-low carbon vehicles). An interest in economics and business would also be an advantage.

The applicant must demonstrate the potential for research and scholarship excellence, and have good collaborative abilities along with an ability to plan and organise their own work. The skills, qualifications and experience required to perform the role are such that the person appointed will be expected to have obtained, or be close to obtaining, an MPhil (or similar) in a subject area of relevance to the role. Ideally, this will be in sustainable engineering, energy/transport policy, or energy/transport economics.

Key responsibilities and duties will include taking a prominent role in planning and conducting the research programme, working with the supervisor to explore new business models and technology opportunities, and preparing/presenting the findings of such activities to sponsors, business partners, and peers.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 5th September 2014.


Energy Research Co-ordinator, University of Oxford

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 15 September 2014 11:18 BST - (15 Reads)

The Department of Materials at the University of Oxford are seeking to recruit a new Energy Research Co-ordinator to be based in Oxford Materials working with Professor Peter G Bruce, FRS and eight other academics within the UK Energy Storage Consortium. The successful candidate will be expected to organise meetings of the consortium, manage the £5m budget, understand the research being undertaken and be able to present the research to external stakeholders, standing in for Professor Bruce when necessary. Candidates should demonstrate the ability to write reports, keep clear and accurate records and interact well with other admin staff both at Oxford and elsewhere.

Applicants should have an aptitude for managing and controlling the finance of a project, have the ability to prioritise and a PhD (completed before starting in post) in a related science or engineering subject. Good communication and interpersonal skills are essential.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 15th September 2014.


Research Fellow in Innovation and Energy Demand, SPRU, University of Sussex

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 03 November 2014 11:14 GMT - (53 Reads)

The University of Sussex are seeking to appoint a Research Fellow at SPRU (Science Policy Research Unit). The successful candidate will join the Sussex Energy Group (SEG) in SPRU and contribute to the research of the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED).

The Centre is developing a socio-technical understanding of how ‘low-energy innovations’ emerge, how they diffuse throughout the economy and what impacts they have on energy consumption. The Centre is investigating these themes through a number of projects focusing upon individual low-energy innovations, such as light rail schemes, district heating, energy service contracting and energy efficient non-domestic buildings, as well as cross-cutting projects to integrate research findings. The Centre includes a range of disciplinary perspectives (e.g. innovation studies, socio-technical transitions, economics) and places a high priority on engaging with stakeholders.

SEG wishes to appoint a highly motivated individual with suitable academic experience to contribute to this wide-ranging research programme. Applications are invited from established researchers with a strong track record in innovation studies and/or energy and climate policy. The successful candidate will be expected to help shape the Centre’s research programme, design and lead research projects, conduct empirical research, participate in funding bids, engage with stakeholders and contribute to the broader work of the Sussex Energy Group. They welcome applications from researchers with a range of empirical interests, including (but not confined to) low energy innovations for domestic buildings, heating/cooling systems, transport systems and the quantitative/qualitative evaluation of the systemic impacts of innovations on energy consumption.   

The successful candidate will have

  • a PhD in a relevant area (e.g. innovation studies, economics or similar);
  • two to three years relevant postdoctoral experience;
  • a track record of research and publication in the area of innovation studies, energy policy or related fields;
  • knowledge of energy and climate policy debates, especially in relation to energy demand;
  • skills in communicating with diverse audiences;
  • enthusiasm, flexibility and a commitment to working within an interdisciplinary, policy-relevant field.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 3rd November 2014.


Research Scientist (Electrolytes), Oxis Energy

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 12 September 2014 10:26 BST - (21 Reads)

An opportunity has arisen for a Research Scientist to join a technology company specializing in the development of next generation lithium-sulfur battery technology. The successful candidate will be lab based and work within the established R&D team, taking ownership of projects dedicated to the development of new electrolytes. This position is open to both graduates holding a postgraduate degree in a suitable discipline (Masters or PhD) and those with further appropriate industrial or academic experience.

Main Responsibilities

  • To generate new ideas and approaches with regards to the development of the electrolyte component of the rechargeable battery
  • To complete laboratory based research dedicated to the development of the electrolyte
  • To take full ownership of research projects and plan, execute and deliver them within the required time-scale
  • To complete regular technical reports on research results
  • To make regular presentations of research results in company meetings
  • To attend regular technical review meetings and provide technical input with regard to research projects and technical strategies

Skills & Experience

  • Educated to postgraduate level (Masters or PhD) in a chemistry related discipline
  • Research experience in either Batteries, Fuel Cells, Super Capacitors or Catalysis in an electrochemistry environment
  • A deep understanding of the chemistry of either Lithium-sulfur or Lithium-ion batteries would be highly desirable
  • Experience of working with air-sensitive materials.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 12th September 2014.


Energy Manager, STFC, Didcot

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Sun 07 September 2014 10:21 BST - (22 Reads)

STFC seeks to appoint an Energy Manager to work in its busy Infrastructure Group at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. The purpose of the role is to provide specialist advice on all aspects of sustainability and energy management, planning and strategy implementation. Influencing colleagues the post holder will ensure energy planning is fully considered at early stages of property asset development planning and is aligned with STFC’s aspirations and strategies resulting in improved energy consumption.

The successfully candidate will have the ability to control significant utility budget allocations and will be able to work methodically to produce management information to inform reports and presentations to various interested Boards. They will ideally have full knowledge of legislative issues relating to energy and sustainability usage.

Corporate responsibilities will include:

  • Coordinating CSD’s response to all legislation on European Union Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Reduction Commitment.
  • Reporting on CSD’s performance in relation to Government’s latest energy and sustainability targets.

The successful candidate will deliver best financial value for all utility contracts by regular review and benchmarking of rates whilst reducing existing carbon footprint by applying energy efficiency measures and utilising low and zero carbon technologies.

They  will also:

  • Liaise closely with SHE group and other stakeholders to influence policy and strategy
  • Plan and implement agreed energy and waste reduction strategies with a view of reducing CSD’s carbon footprint
  • Coordinate the creation and maintenance of travel plans for all sites
  • Develop plans to mitigate the risks to the estate portfolio associated with climate change and accidental pollution
  • Enhance the ecology and biodiversity of STFC’s sites by advising Regional Estates and FM colleagues on protecting existing assets and maximising new habitat opportunities.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 7th September 2014.


Visit the jobs webpage for more opportunities and as ever if you know of any jobs, please let me know.

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Innovation Vouchers – round 9

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Wed 22 October 2014 10:38 BST - (111 Reads)

The Technology Strategy Board's national Innovation Voucher scheme is designed to help businesses gain the knowledge they need to innovate and grow. An Innovation Voucher can help businesses to work with an external expert for the first time by paying towards the cost of their services.  TSB are providing Innovation Vouchers for start-up, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to work with ‘knowledge suppliers' such as:

  • universities and further education colleges
  • research and technology organisations
  • technical consultancies
  • Catapult centres
  • design advisers
  • Intellectual Property advisers.

Innovation Vouchers will be available to businesses that are aiming to work on ideas applicable to one of TSB’s priority themes. The Innovation Voucher can enable businesses to access knowledge for all types of innovation – for example:

  • ideas for new or improved products, processes and services
  • using design to improve your ideas
  • managing your Intellectual Property.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 22nd Oct 2014.



In-Stream Tidal Energy: Advancing environmental monitoring, sensing and instrumentation technologies for high flow marine environments

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Fri 28 November 2014 11:41 GMT - (20 Reads)

The Offshore Energy Research Association of Nova Scotia (OERA) and the Technology Strategy Board are jointly investing approximately $1.4m CAD (£755k) in collaborative R&D projects to develop enhanced sensing technologies for tidal stream energy applications.

The aim of this competition is to develop technologies that lead to the acquisition of better data, improved data analysis and collection methods, helping to reduce risk, uncertainty and cost to the tidal stream energy industry.

Proposals must be collaborative and business-led, including at least one business from Canada and one from the UK. We expect to fund industrial research projects, in which a business partner will generally attract up to 50% public funding for their project costs (60% for small to medium enterprises).

The funders expect total project costs to be in the region of $500k CAD (£275k), although they may consider projects outside this range.

For more information please go here. This is a two-stage competition that opens for applicants on 6th October 2014. The deadline for expressions of interest is 28th November 2014.


Collaborative research with Korea on fuel cell technologies

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Wed 15 October 2014 11:49 BST - (14 Reads)

This call is from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) for collaborative projects between the UK and the Republic of Korea in the field of Fuel Cell Technologies. EPSRC and KETEP each have up to £2.5 million available to support projects under this call. Proposals are invited from leading UK researchers wishing to either develop relationships with leading researchers from eligible institutions in Korea or to deepen existing collaborations. Proposers should detail how they make the best use of available expertise in the UK and Korea, how their proposal networks the UK and Korean communities and how it positions these activities against other international opportunities. Collaborative research proposals are invited under a number of priority themes.

For more information please go here. The closing date for applications is the 15th October 2014.


Evaluation of the electricity demand reduction pilot scheme

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Mon 15 September 2014 11:54 BST - (18 Reads)

The Department of Energy and Climate Change invites tenders for the evaluation of the electricity demand reduction pilot scheme. The tenderer will undertake the evaluation of the pilot using theory-based evaluation techniques tested by research and analysis as appropriate to answer the evaluation questions. Quantitative research with industrial, commercial and public sectors is likely to be required. The contract is divided into six phases between October 2014 and December 2017.

Tenderers are expected to demonstrate creative thinking and innovation as well as the necessary skills to deliver the evaluation. Consortium bids are welcome.

The total budget is worth between £731,000 and approximately £1.06 million over 43 months. Of this budget, £181,000 to £293,000 is allocated to phases one and two. There will be contract breaks by April and September 2015, April 2016 and April 2017 where it will be decided whether to continue with the evaluation.

For more information please go here. The closing date for applications is the 15th September 2014


Strategic research agenda energy technologies

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Tue 23 September 2014 11:59 BST - (15 Reads)

The European Defence Agency invites tenders for strategic research agenda energy technologies. The study will identify and prioritise critical energy-related defence technologies as well as those technologies considered for dual-use applications. The study will also evaluate available EU policies and instruments that could be applied to R&T activities in the field of energy in the military sector, also developing a methodology to do so. Finally, it will collect, analyse, and evaluate information in order to develop roadmaps with recommendations aiming to achieve a realistic investment plan, shared between the Ministries of Defence, industry and academia. More specifically, the purpose of the EDA contract on energy strategic research agenda is to:

a. identify major military capability trends and associated capability requirements in relation to decreasing energy and environmental footprint in both peace time and operations;

b. identify current or forecast future civilian technology developments in energy relevant to military users. Identify civil roadmaps where defence could introduce such technology areas in order to be developed;

c. identification and mapping of areas where civilian technology development will not provide substantial increase in military capabilities and new or additional action will be necessary;

d. create roadmaps for future investments in military-supported technology development. It will focus on the perspective of the coming 5–10 years, for which it will outline an investment plan — a roadmap — for R&T investment of military funds;

e. create a concise and practical draft for a SRA working document as recommendation; and

f. evaluate available EU policies and instruments that could be applied to R&T activities in the field of energy in the military sector, also developing a methodology to do so.

For more information please go here. The closing date is the 23rd September 2014.


Visit the funding webpage for more opportunities and if you hear of any funding opportunities, please let me know.

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Events and Conferences

SR Marine Conference, Exhibition & Dinner 2014

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Wed 24 September 2014 10:08 BST - (15 Reads)

23-24th September, Inverness



International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:05 BST - Expires At: Wed 01 October 2014 10:07 BST - (17 Reads)

30th September-1st October 2014, Vienna, Austria



SHFCA 6th Annual Conference: Smarter Energy with Hydrogen & Fuel Cells

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 02 October 2014 10:11 BST - (18 Reads)

1-2nd October, Aberdeen



Ocean Energy Europe 2014

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Thu 02 October 2014 10:12 BST - (15 Reads)

1-2nd October 2014, Paris



Supporting Entrepreneurship in Europe: Creating Sustainable Employment and Growth

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Tue 28 October 2014 10:10 GMT - (15 Reads)

28th October 2014, Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie, Brussels



2nd Flare Management & Gas Utilization Summit: Innovations for Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling Flared Gas

Published At: Fri 29 August 2014 09:00 BST - Expires At: Tue 18 November 2014 10:09 GMT - (16 Reads)

17-18th November, Houston, TX



Visit the events webpage for more opportunities and if you would like to advertise an event please let me know.

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