Energy and sustainability

Climate change is one of the biggest threats to humanity and the natural world. Finding a low-carbon, secure and sustainable energy source is one of the greatest challenges we face today.

Such a broad challenge is not going to have one simple answer. That’s why at Manchester, we’re exploring every avenue, applying our unrivalled breadth and depth of expertise to develop secure, affordable sources of low-carbon energy.

In fact, energy is one of the University’s five research beacons, areas of research in which we are at the forefront of pioneering research.

We’re researching areas such as nuclear power, biofuels, solar cells and globally interconnected energy systems. We’re also taking a multidisciplinary approach to finding new ways of increasing the efficiency of our energy use.

By discovering new ways of producing energy sustainably, and encouraging and pioneering the efficient use of energy, our research at Manchester can make a huge impact on this pressing, global problem. And with your support, we can solve these issues quicker.

Building on Rutherford’s nuclear legacy

Rutherford old photograph

Ernest Rutherford first split the atom in 1917. This ground-breaking and world-changing discovery took place right here on campus at The University of Manchester.

A century later and Rutherford’s legacy is still very much alive. With the production of nuclear energy set to double by 2035, our world-class researchers are ensuring that the UK nuclear industry can remain competitive and grow.

Our award-winning Dalton Nuclear Institute is the UK’s largest and most connected academic provider of nuclear research and development, addressing major issues associated with nuclear power like plant life extension, new nuclear build, decommissioning and radioactive waste management.

Finding the biofuels of the future

Student researching in energy at The University of Manchester

The European Commission believes that biomass could supply two-thirds of European renewable energy by 2020. However, there are concerns over the efficiency of bioenergy production and its ability to deliver genuine carbon savings when the whole production lifecycle is considered.

At Manchester, our team of over 60 core researchers are committed to tackling these problems.

We’re pioneering research into the biofuels of the future, looking at things such as algae and yeast as potential sources of plentiful and affordable energy. We’re looking at methods of improving the efficiency of biofuels, while also finding ways to balance competing land usage demands for food and biofuel crops.

Sustainable energy use

Developing new sources of power is essential to a low-carbon future, but making our energy use more efficient is equally important.

In our Sustainable Consumption Institute, we focus on ways of encouraging low-carbon consumer choices and energy efficient retail supply chains. We’re also looking at innovative ways to encourage either less usage or more efficient consumption of energy.

With your help, we can find workable solutions to arguably the greatest challenges of our age.