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University of Sussex to help developing economies move towards low carbon energy

University of Sussex academics are helping the Government to launch a new network to link British energy experts to those in developing economies.

Several universities are involved in the initiative, funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The Low Carbon Energy for Development Network (LCEDN) will ensure the UK’s world-class expertise in sustainable energy solutions helps developing countries achieve their low carbon goals.

LCEDN, which has been made possible by a £100k grant from DECC, will identify UK-based skills and knowledge that could help developing economies achieve low carbon development.

Alongside Sussex, Durham University Energy Institute (DEI), the Midlands Energy Consortium (comprising Loughborough, Birmingham, and Nottingham universities), Imperial College and UKERC (UK Energy Research Centre) are involved in the LCEDN initiative.

Professor Jim Watson, Dr David Ockwell and Dr Rob Byrne from the University of Sussex will contribute the knowledge and experience of low carbon development that they have gained from research and practice in China, India and Africa.

The grant will be used by LCEDN to examine the use of new technologies in different developing economies to assess their potential in the creation of low carbon energy.

The research will aid in the transition to low carbon economies, as well as help to tackle the chronic problem of energy poverty.

The network will pinpoint UK strengths, identify where they could be deployed and highlight areas where expertise needs to be further developed, particularly in relation to UK policymakers. It will also identify opportunities for enhancing research collaborations between UK experts and those in other parts of the globe. 

Professor Watson, who is Director of the University’s Sussex Energy Group, says: “We are delighted to be involved in this new low carbon energy network. This year [2012] is the UN year of sustainable energy access for all, and the network will provide a further mechanism for the UK research community to contribute to this overall goal.

“Working with partners in the developing world, we will focus on opportunities to improve energy access through low carbon technologies and, perhaps more importantly, on the policy and institutional changes that are needed to deploy these technologies successfully.”

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker says: “International collaboration on energy research is vital to support low carbon options for developing countries and help tackle climate change.  Through this initiative we can offer our world-leading expertise in sustainable energy solutions and learn valuable lessons from countries that are undergoing rapid change.”


Notes for Editors

The Sussex Energy Group undertakes academically rigorous, inter-disciplinary research that engages with policy-makers and practitioners. The aim of its research is to identify ways of achieving the transition to sustainable, low carbon energy systems while addressing other important policy objectives such as energy security.

University of Sussex Press office contacts: Maggie Clune and Jacqui Bealing. Tel: 01273 678 888. Email:

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Last updated: Friday, 13 January 2012