The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) was an energy research, development and demonstration body created by the UK government in 2007. However in 2019 it was announced that it was closing with the following statement:
After 12 years of research into low carbon technologies innovation to help the UK reach its climate goals, the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) has now closed. All the available data and findings from the ETI’s programmes, are available online through the programme pages and Knowledge Zone until 2025. Much of the capability developed by the ETI now resides with, and can be accessed through, the Energy Systems Catapult, the Centre for Sustainable Roadfreight and others.
What Was the ETI?
As a £400m industry and government funded research institute they researched low carbon energy system planning and technology development to address UK energy and climate change targets.
According to their website it was:
“A public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies and the UK Government, that worked hard to act as a conduit between academia, industry and the government to accelerate the development of low carbon technologies.
They brought together engineering projects that develop affordable, secure and sustainable technologies to help the UK address its long term emissions reduction targets, as well as delivering nearer term benefits.
They made targeted commercial investments in technology programmes across heat, power, transport and the infrastructure that links them.”
Their main work was broken down into 3 core areas:
1. Technology Programmes
A portfolio of engineering projects researching, developing & demonstrating new low carbon technologies.
They launched and funded several technology programmes including:
- Offshore Wind – Technology innovation to improve reliability and reduce through-life costs.
- Marine – Accelerated innovation to harness the UK’s vast natural wave and tidal resources.
- Distributed Energy – Researched technical solutions for the control of heat and hot water in the home.
- Buildings – Developed knowledge to make domestic buildings energy efficient.
- Energy Storage and Distribution – Moved energy economically and efficiently to where and when it is needed.
- Smart Systems and Heat – Created future-proof and economic local heating solutions for the UK.
- Carbon Capture and Storage – Built an evidence base for the implementation of CCS in the UK.
- Transport – HDV – Delivered increased real world fuel efficiency.
- Transport – LDV – Delivered increased real world fuel efficiency.
- Bioenergy – Application of sustainable biomass and waste resources for flexible and affordable low carbon energy.
- Nuclear – Explored the role for new nuclear in a UK low carbon energy system.
A report series analysing the UK’s options, choices and actions for low carbon energy systems and technology development.
In total they wrote 45 reports with the latest titles including:
- Heavy Duty Vehicles Overall Insights Report
- Land based heavy duty vehicle efficiency at the ETI
- HGV Use in the UK
- Smarter Charging A UK Transition to Low Carbon Vehicles: Full Report
- HGVs and their role in a future energy system
- The Journey to Smarter Heat
- Still in the Mix? Understanding the System Role of Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage
- Brine Production And Its Potential Impact on UK Carbon Dioxide Storage
- Enabling Resilient UK Energy Infrastructure: Natural Hazard Characterisation Technical Volumes and Case Studies
- District Heat Networks in the UK: Potential Barriers and Opportunities
A series of reflections from their strategic analysis and technology innovation activities.
- Tools for Future Energy Systems
- Evaluation of the NET Power low carbon power process
- Natural Gas Pathway Analysis for Heavy Duty Vehicles
- Public Perceptions of Bioenergy
- Opportunities for rural job creation in the UK energy crops sector
ESME was the ETI’s internationally peer reviewed energy system modelling environment (ESME) – a national energy system design and planning capability helped to identify key areas for ETI investments and also underpins and informs UK Government energy policy. Now managed by the Energy Systems Catapult.
It identified key areas for ETI investment and also helps to underpin and inform UK Government energy policy.
With so many competing technology options, there was a need for accurate modelling tools to enable us to target investment at the right mix of low carbon solutions.
ESME was originally conceived for ETI’s own purposes to identify investment in technology innovation. Over time ESME has developed into a powerful energy system model for the UK. Increasingly the use of its outputs and insights has expanded into more strategic policy contexts.
According to Wikipedia, Five objectives were set for the institute:
- To increase the level of research and development funding to meet the UK’s energy policy goals.
- To deliver research and development that facilitates the rapid commercial deployment of cost-effective, low-carbon energy technologies.
- To provide better strategic focus for commercially applicable energy related research and development in the UK.
- To connect and manage networks of the best scientists and engineers to deliver focused energy research and development projects to accelerate eventual commercial deployment.
- To build research and development capacity in the UK in the relevant technical disciplines to deliver the UK’s energy policy goals.
The ETI describes as its vision: “Affordable, secure, sustainable energy for present and future generations.”
The institute set out to focus research on a mixture of technologies.
As of 2014, the ETI states that typically it supports projects that:
- Develop and demonstrate system level capabilities based on novel low carbon energy technologies or services
- Create additional value through the capabilities of the ETI Industry Members and Project Partners
- Create new partnerships – improving skills, knowledge, capabilities and supply chain capacity
- Create benefit in the UK and globally – through deployment, skills, knowledge base or exports
- Reduce risk associated with novel energy systems and supply chains
- Identify barriers requiring “next generation” science and technology support
- Inform development of regulations, standards, and policy
At the same time, the institute focuses on a mix of technologies to increase security of supply, and solutions to address fuel poverty.
In 2017 the ETI started the Nuclear Cost Drivers Project, which aims to identify cost reductions in nuclear power plant design, construction and operation, so enabling more widespread deployment of new nuclear
The ETI was a public-private partnership between global energy and engineering companies and the UK Government. Including: