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The University of Southampton
Clean Carbon

Moving towards a low carbon future – grant success for Energy and Environment research at Southampton

Published: 14 October 2015

The winning project: ‘Addressing the Valuation of Energy and Nature Together’ (ADVENT) takes a whole-systems perspective on energy futures in a way that integrates energy and environmental considerations.

Funded by NERC, the ADVENT projects aim to develop conceptual frameworks and modelling tools to integrate the analysis of prospective UK energy pathways with considerations relating to the value of natural capital.

What we grow has an impact on carbon sequestration capacity

Professor Gail Taylor and Dr Felix Eigenbrod are part of a consortium which has secured £2 million NERC funding for a 5 year project as part of the UK Energy Research Centre Grand Challenge to explore future UK low-carbon energy pathways and quantify their implications for natural capital and provision of ecosystem services. The project kicked off in September 2015, with the appointment of Dr Rob Holland to the project team and a search for two new NERC PhD students with a project on mapping the global biodiversity impacts of UK energy supply and a second on the environmental consequences of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

The project brings together six UK partners: University of East Anglia (Project lead) University of Aberdeen, University College London, University of Leeds and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

The project sits alongside two other recent awards from EPSRC and NERC. The MAGLUE (www, project funded by EPSRC is led by Gail Taylor and valued at £1.2M and will run for three years as part of the SUPERGEN Bioenergy research network. Including partners from CEH, Forest Research, University of Southampton and IBERS, Aberystwyth

The final award is the inclusion of Taylor and Eigenbrod as part of the flagship United Kingdom Energy Research Centre (UKERC) Phase III, where the group will be working on ‘off-shoring’ our environmental footprints with respect to energy supply and considering the global consequences of energy sourcing and will also develop the next set of combined Energy Pathways out to 2050. “These Energy pathways will be unique in combining energy scenarios with a wide range of ecosystem service impacts. Bringing the energy and environment science communities together in UKERC provides us with a valuable opportunity to understand how the UK can achieve a sustainable energy supply out to 2050” (Professor Gail Taylor).

This project represents an important step towards developing future low carbon energy pathways that account for impacts on our natural resources including biodiversity, soil carbon and the conflict between land for food and fuel

Professor Gail Taylor - Director of Research, Faculty of Natural and Environmental Science, University of Southampton

In the MAGLUE project we focus on understanding the greenhouse gas balance of several bioenergy cropping systems with widescale implications for the development of global bioenergy resources, including for example, work being undertaken by Dr Jake Snaddon from Biological Sciences on Oil Palm sustainability. At the end of MAGLUE, we will have established clear metrics for a number of biomass supply chains, including for example, understanding the GHG balance of wood supplied from the USA

Gail Taylor - Director of Research, Faculty of Natural and Environmental Science, University of Southampton
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