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Energy research


Global challenges

Manchester solutions


The University of Manchester is pioneering the energy systems of the future so that we can continue to heat our homes, light our buildings and travel.

The energy that we depend upon travels a long way before it reaches your fingertips. We need to assess each stage of the energy journey if we’re to continue to meet demand.

In doing so we’ll be tackling some big questions.  Are our energy sources sustainable? Do we transport energy efficiently? Can we meet demand while minimising the effects on our environment?

Can we make homes and cities smarter in how they use energy? Can we address the social inequalities that underpin energy use?

The University of Manchester has over 600 academics and researchers taking on these key challenges. 


Research at each stage of the energy journey

Our expertise is enhancing the efficiency and viability of sustainable energy sources such as solar, wind, tidal and bioenergy. It’s supporting partners in the bridging fuel sectors, such as oil and gas, to continue to meet demand.

We’re helping to ensure energy gets to the point of need efficiently, providing UK network partners with the knowledge to deliver reliable and sustainable power. Renewable sources of generation tend to be more intermittent – so we’re working on systems that will help keep supply constant, and finding ways to persuade people to use energy at the best times.

We work closely with our local region on projects such as the UK’s largest ever trial of heat pumps. We’re finding out more about how today’s urban society uses energy, blending expertise from engineering and the social sciences to learn more about demand and how it can be met.

Nuclear expertise

University of Manchester infographic: energy
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Our experts are guiding the UK’s industrial strategy for the civil nuclear sector via our Dalton Nuclear Institute, the UK’s most advanced academic nuclear research capability. Here, we undertake research across the entire nuclear fuel cycle – from innovative manufacturing techniques to waste management.

A living laboratory

Leading facilities – from the 2MV high-voltage laboratory at our Manchester campus to our £20 million Dalton Cumbrian Facility – help both us and our industry partners develop these solutions. The University campus itself is a living laboratory, with our 339 buildings providing a test bed for tomorrow’s energy systems.

To get to tomorrow’s homes, energy will have to travel new routes, going further and faster, leaving no carbon footprint. At Manchester we’re making sure the systems are in place for this journey to happen across a mix of energy sources. 

Energy: Research breakthroughs