The prevalence of the gas grid, which delivers more than twice the energy of the electricity grid, presents a particular challenge to the UK moving to low carbon heat. The burning of natural gas for heating contributes 14% of the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whichever approaches are taken, the way heating is supplied to the nearly 24 million homes, businesses and industrial users connected to the gas grid will need to change. Ensuring this transition is as smooth as possible but timely represents a major national challenge over the coming years. In addition, the rise in the demand for cooling means that finding solutions to efficient, cheap and sustainable ways of cooling is a global problem.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has launched a call to fund proposals to support the goal of the decarbonisation of heating and/or cooling across all settings – including urban/rural, residential/industrial etc. The research proposed must be at least 50% within the remit of EPSRC, and must clearly address decarbonisation of heating, decarbonising cooling or decarbonising both heating and cooling. Projects funded by this call should support a wide range of potential solutions.
Proposals must explain how the proposed research fits into the existing energy research landscape, specifically how the proposed research differs or is complementary to existing similar work. Proposed interactions with other research in the landscape to maximise progress and value for money should be described.
It is expected that proposals will be multi-disciplinary, and they may come from consortia or individual institutions and may address individual or multiple themes. Proposals should engage with key organisations (academic, industry, policy etc) in the energy landscape relevant to the proposed decarbonising heating and/or cooling research proposed.
Projects can be for a research proposal or a Network Plus proposal. At most one Network Plus will be funded to stimulate development of decarbonising heating and/or cooling research and communities. Networks are intended to be UK-wide, and should involve a broad range of disciplines as well as non-academic stakeholders.
As this call is a targeted funding opportunity provided by EPSRC, eligible individuals from higher education institutions, and some research council institutes and independent research organisations are eligible to apply.
Approximately £8 million is available for this call at 80% FEC. Proposals should be for a maximum of £2 million and a minimum of £500,000 and should be for 36 to 48 months duration. Proposals that have a value of more than £1 million (80%FEC) should include within their research a component of economic or social science research.
An Intent to Submit form should be completed by the 9 July 2019 deadline.
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