The Royal Society is carrying out a major policy programme on low carbon energy. This aims to consider how transformational science and technology can help the UK transit to a low carbon future, whilst pursuing an active industrial strategy that creates growth and jobs in the short and medium term. This programme follows the commitments made in Paris at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Drawing on the expertise of Fellows of the Royal Society and the wider scientific community, the programme consists of several short projects each focused on a priority area of low carbon science and technology. A final project will then combine cross-cutting themes to set out a research and innovation vision for the UK’s energy system.
The short projects, encompassing workshops and reports, aim to provide a rapid and authoritative synthesis of the current evidence. Policy briefings have been published exploring the potential for using rather than storing carbon dioxide, the options for producing low carbon hydrogen at scale, sustainable synthetic carbon based fuels for transport and ammonia as a zero-carbon fertiliser, fuel and energy store. An energy storage workshop identified opportunities for the UK’s world class research base to play a leading role in the field of battery energy storage.
The next project in the series sets out to examine whether there are alternative ways of using the outputs of nuclear power, known as “combined heat and power“ or cogeneration.