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Research Themes

Our research is framed within concepts of sustainable, ethical and appropriate options for the future of global energy supply.

Future Energy Systems

Durham Energy Institute is a world leader in energy systems research, attracting researchers, partners and funding from across the globe. Our state of the art Thermochemical Systems, Zero-Carbon Energy Systems, Hydrogen and Smart Grids Laboratories provides researchers and industry partners’ access to the latest research and analysis facilities to develop efficiency and smarter energy systems. Our research includes prototype system development, mathematical modelling and statistics, power systems optimisation and control, ICT-power system integration and demand-side management.

Research Groups

  • Smart grid and Demand-side management
  • EV Charging and Vehicle to grid integration
  • Energy hub and virtual power plant
  • Smart cities, and Internet of Energy/Things
  • Decarbonising Heating and Cooling
  • Low and Zero Carbon Transport Powertrains
  • Multi-vector energy systems integration.

Next-generation Technologies and Materials

Our research is delivering developments to improve existing renewable generation technologies and designing the breakthrough energy innovations needed to transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. At DEI we are ensuring that wind, solar, bio-energy and conventional power can generate more economically, reliably and at multiple scales. We also recognise that new energy sources and technologies are required to meet the needs of the future. Our research into hydrogen for transport, nuclear fusion and energy storage will help us to make a zero-carbon future a reality.

Research Groups

Interdisciplinary Energy Research Methods

DEI encourages interdisciplinary working in all of its research projects. We believe that bringing multiple perspectives together will lead to the biggest breakthroughs and the best understanding of how to design and implement sustainable, secure, accessible, and fair energy systems.

By unlocking research synergies between different disciplines and sectors, and by applying new and integrated perspectives to existing and emerging energy challenges, DEI produces major insights into the complexities of transitioning to a low-carbon living and how these transitions can be ethically managed.

Research Groups (or approaches)

  • Enhancing interdisciplinarity
  • People-centred development
  • Whole systems approaches.

Global Energy Governance and Development

DEI aims to internationalise all its research and ask what it means for different economies, climates and cultures across the world.

Our researchers investigate how global political and economic relationships influence the production, distribution, supply and pricing of energy, shaping energy transitions at home and abroad.

We also work with communities globally to understand their needs and constraints. This helps understand how to develop new energy systems which are optimised, fit-for-purpose, and designed to meet the real needs of different communities now and into the future.

Research Groups

  • Energy for development
  • Energy justice
  • Energy cultural landscapes
  • Geopolitics, governance and policy
  • Regulatory and legal structures.