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.
In response, the Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials, in collaboration with the Institute of Physics (IOP), convened the materials research communities to explore the critical role of novel materials and processes to deliver affordable, reliable and 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.”