Harwell Campus Net Zero Energy Conference showcases path for ‘Green Industrial Revolution’


Harwell Campus, the UK’s science and innovation hub, hosted its annual Net Zero EnergyTec virtually this week. The event showcased some of the latest innovative technologies and applications alongside engineering initiatives that are addressing the greatest energy challenges of our time.

Launched in March 2018, the Harwell Campus EnergyTec Cluster now comprises of 57 industry, academic and public organisations working on the Campus, collectively employing over 1100 people.

The Harwell Net Zero Energy Conference panel discussion focussed on expediting net zero technologies from R&D to commercialisation and how this will grow the UK’s energy capabilities.

Chief Scientific Advisor to the government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Paul Monks spoke at the virtual event, alongside panellists including: Elodi Viau, Head of ESA ECSAT, Ian Ellerington CTO, Faraday Institute; Alice Porter, UKRI Deputy Commercial Director; Professor Paul Beasley; Siemens, and Jack Nicholas CEO, Qdot.

Harwell Campus is already using the campus as a testbed for Net Zero technologies through its Living Laboratory. It is home to the £74 million Faraday Institute which is the knowledge partner to STEPS, a N.W. Europe project aiming to democratise the energy storage industry. Other projects, such as the Telefonica Darwin Project is enabling the testing of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles; and QDot is developing battery thermal management technology enabling faster charging with smaller batteries at lower cost, giving consumers longer driving range and saving the worry of losing battery power.

Barbara Ghinelli, the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Director of Clusters and Campus Business Development at, Harwell Campus, said: “The Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) recommended pathway to Net Zero will bring the UK’s previous 80 per cent target forward by nearly 15 years which is a challenge that will stimulate innovation and create thousands of new jobs. The vision behind the EnergyTec Cluster and the emerging Net Zero Living Lab at Harwell is to support government in this endeavour by accelerating and integrating multiple efforts from across the UK and made across a whole range of Net Zero applications which collectively shift the dial towards this target. This year’s EnergyTec conference will bring the key developments and innovations being used to reach a greener future to the forefront.”

The first week of 2021 has already seen a sizeable UK government investment announced of £13 million in the wider Harwell science campus in which STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratories sits, including support on improved environmental sustainability and funding for the setting up of more electric car charging ports on campus and the installation of more solar panels