UK Materials Science Community delivers its strategic response to net-zero emissions challenge

30 September 2020

Thermoelectric Energy Conversion Materials Roadmap
Thermoelectric Energy Conversion Materials Roadmap
In May 2019 the UK Government became the first global economy to set a net zero emissions target for 2050, upgrading the previous target of delivering an 80% cut in emissions. The move followed the publication of the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) ‘Net Zero’ report.

In response, the Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials, in collaboration with the Institute of Physics (IOP), has convened the academic and industrial materials research communities to explore the increasingly critical role of novel materials and processes to deliver affordable, reliable and above all, green energy. The output is a series of detailed technology roadmaps that set out how UK materials science can contribute to the UK’s low-carbon energy transition.

Dr Oliver Fenwick (SEMS) was the technical lead for one of the five technology roadmaps:
"The development of new or improved materials underpins most emerging technologies. Accordingly, the transition to net-zero emissions presents significant opportunities for new materials, and this is particularly the case for thermoelectric technology.... The challenge is significant, but the opportunity for the UK in this sector is huge, with 17% of our CO2 emissions coming from space heating and cooling. Breakthroughs in thermoelectrics can be achieved with sustained targeted research funding that addresses skills gaps, develops new advanced tools, and facilitates networking between stake-holders."

The roadmaps are living documents, and Royce will engage with research communities to review regularly and develop further roadmaps as new materials systems and technologies emerge.

Each theme has benefited from oversight and technical research leadership from a Higher Education Institute: University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University of Leeds, University of Manchester and Queen Mary University of London.
SEMS divisions:
Contact:Oliver Fenwick

Updated by: Oliver Fenwick