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Home >> UKERC Energy Data Centre >> Landscapes

"Where we are now".

The Landscapes are classified by IEA Energy Category

Last updated: 16 October 2020

The Landscape documents
Area Sector Principal Authors
ENERGY EFFICIENCY Industry Prof Geoff Hammond, University of Bath
14 May 2009
(PDF 382 KB)
Residential and Commercial Prof Bob Lowe University College London (UCL) with assistance of Dr Jim Halliday STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
30 April 2014
(PDF 545 KB)
Transport Dr Mark Beecroft and Dr Jillian Anable, University of Aberdeen
13 April 2012
(PDF 835 KB)
FOSSIL FUELS: OIL, GAS and COAL Oil and Gas Dr Robert Breen, Quogen Consulting Limited, Oxford
21 December 2012
(PDF 811 KB)
Coal Combustion Dr Andrew Minchener, Andalin Consulting
31 December 2012
(PDF 296 KB)
Coal Conversion Dr Andrew Minchener, Andalin Consulting
31 December 2012
(PDF 311 KB)
CO2 Capture and Storage Prof Stuart Haszeldine, University of Edinburgh
14 May 2009
(PDF 373 KB)
RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES Solar Energy Professor Stuart J C Irvine, Glyndŵr University
23 February 2013
(PDF 821 KB)
Wind Energy Dr Jim Halliday & Dr Alan Ruddell
STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
27 March 2013
(PDF 595 KB)
Ocean Energy Laura Finlay, Brighid Jay, and Henry Jeffrey, University of Edinburgh
24 July 2012
(PDF 458 KB)
Bio-Energy Prof Gail Taylor, University of Southampton
15 May 2009
(PDF 651 KB)
Geothermal Energy Lesley Wright, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory & Paul Younger, University of Glasgow
13 December 2012
(PDF 562 KB)
Hydropower Dr George Aggidis, Lancaster University
17 January 2013
(PDF 315 KB)

Other Renewables  
NUCLEAR FISSION and FUSION Nuclear Fission Dr Paul Howarth, Dalton Institute, University of Manchester
Updated by Dorothy Stonell, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
8 October 2013
(PDF 647 KB)
Nuclear Fusion Martin O’Brien & David Ward of CCFE
and Chris Nelson & Chris Edwards of STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
18 November 2013
(PDF 441 KB)
HYDROGEN and FUEL CELLS Hydrogen Dr Geoff Dutton and Dr Jim Halliday, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and Dr Tim Mays, University of Bath
10 April 2013
(PDF 426 KB)
Fuel Cells Prof Nigel Brandon, Imperial College London
27 December 2013
(PDF 313 KB)
OTHER POWER and STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES Electric power conversion Dr David Gahan, Gahantech Consulting Ltd
30 January 2013
(PDF 626 KB)
Electricity transmission and distribution Dr Modassar Chaudry, Cardiff University
19 March 2014
(PDF 423 KB)
Energy storage Dr Alan Ruddell, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
29 July 2020
(PDF 1 MB)

OTHER CROSS-CUTTING TECHNOLOGIES or RESEARCH Energy System Analysis Dr Neil Strachan, University College London
17 June 2011
(PDF 160 KB)
Socio-Economic Research Dr Matthew Hannon, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Strathclyde University Business School
20 August 2019
(PDF 1 MB)
Whole Systems Research Dr Antti Silvast, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture; Associate Fellow at Durham Energy Institute (DEI)
30 June 2019
(PDF 1 MB)


What are landscapes?

The Landscape section of the UKERC Energy Data Centre provides a comprehensive account of competencies and publicly funded activities in energy research, development and demonstration (RD&D) in the UK. It covers the main funding streams, research providers, infrastructure, networks and UK participation in international activities.  Landscapes are classified by IEA Energy Category.

Note: Information in this section has been developed by UKERC and our associates. We have done our best to make the information as complete, accurate and up-to-date as possible. However, we cannot provide any absolute guarantees regarding either completeness or accuracy, nor can we accept any liability for the information or the uses to which it is put.

We want to make the Landscapes as authoritative as possible; they will be subject to a process of continuous updating. If you identify any errors or omissions please contact us at and we will be pleased to rectify these.

What do we mean by R&D?

The EDC uses the standard definitions of R&D set out in the OECD’s Frascati Manual. Broadly, we divide the research landscape into three broad areas:

  • Basic and applied strategic research, referred to in shorthand as “basic research”. This covers basic, basic oriented and applied strategic research and is closely aligned with work supported by the Research Councils through the science budget. In general, this work is led by universities and dedicated research institutes, though links with industry and other stakeholders are encouraged.
  • Applied research and development, referred to in shorthand as “applied research”. This covers applied specific research and early experimental development which is often supported by government departments (e.g. the Department of Trade and Industry. Projects supported in this way are generally industry-led, though universities and research institutes may be project partners.
  • Advanced development and demonstration, referred to in shorthand as “demonstration” includes advanced experimental development and technology demonstration, the latter falling formally outside the scope of the Frascati Manual. Demonstration is supported by an increasing range of bodies including the Department of Trade and Industry, the Devolved Administrations and the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs).

Increasingly, reference is made to RDD&D – research, development, demonstration and deployment. The EDC does not cover public measures intended to accelerate the early deployment of new technologies. In the UK, these frequently take the form of “market-pull” measures, that is they modify market signals to encourage business to deploy emerging technologies. Examples in the energy field include the Renewables Obligation, or various schemes operated by the Energy Saving Trust to encourage the take-up of energy efficiency measures.

How have we catalogued energy research?

Given the broad scope of energy research, having a transparent and comprehensive system for mapping activity is essential. International comparability is also desirable. We have therefore used the International Energy Agencys’s Energy RD&D nomenclature to describe the landscape.

At the top level, the nomenclature divides the energy research landscape into “areas” These cover energy demand and the main energy sources – fossil fuels, renewables and nuclear. Other “areas” cover hydrogen and fuel cells, power and storage, and cross-cutting research which includes energy systems analysis and modelling, socio-economic research and energy-related environmental research. Each area is further broken down into sectors. In the renewables area, for example, sectors include solar and marine energy. Sectors form the basic unit of analysis for the landscape.

What information is included?

For each sector, the following information is included. Sections 3-9 include tabular information along with a brief commentary.

Section 1: An overview which includes a broad characterisation of research activity in the sector and the key research challenges
Section 2: An assessment of UK capabilities in relation to wider international activities, in the context of market potential
Section 3: Major funding streams and providers of basic research along with a brief commentary
Section 4: Major funding streams and providers of applied research along with a brief commentary
Section 5: Major funding streams for demonstration activity along with major projects and a brief commentary
Section 6: Research infrastructure and other major research assets (e.g. databases, models)
Section 7: Research networks, mainly in the UK, but also European networks not covered by the EU Framework Research and Technology Development (RTD) Programmes.
Section 8: UK participation in energy-related EU Framework Research and Technology Development (RTD) Programmes.
Section 9: UK participation in wider international initiatives, including those supported by the International Energy Agency.