Energy research hailed for global impact

Edinburgh research into alternative energy is featured among UK universities best contributions to global development.

A project by researchers at Edinburgh has developed clean energy access for 250,000 people in Kenya, India, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

The study, Edinburgh’s Project Innovation Systems for Clean Energy Security (PISCES) aims to improve the accessibility, efficiency and use of alternative energy in developing nations across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

Their research was named in the top 20 examples of UK further education institutions benefiting global development.

Sustainable Power

The UK Centre of Development Science selected PISCES research from 6,975 case studies submitted to the Research Assessment Framework (REF), the system for assessing UK research quality.

Backing for the project has come from the Department for International Development (DFID), the Economic and Social Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Scottish Government.

Limited access to sustainable energy is one of the major constraints to global development and eliminating poverty.

Alternative energy systems such as purpose-grown biofuels, cleaner and more efficient stoves and solar technologies offer an opportunity to improve health and livelihoods.

Health Risks

If current trends continue, 3bn people will be continuing to cook with traditional fuels and appliances in 2030, which will result in the deaths of more than 30 million people owing to smoke-related diseases.

To help avert this, PISCES has also facilitated the distribution and use of 30,000 efficient gasifier stoves in Tanzania.

The programme reached an estimated 180,000 people and has directly contributed to reducing Tanzania’s smoke-related health problems.

Climate change campaign to get under way

The listing of Edinburgh's alternative energy research among UK universities best contributions to global development comes as a new initiative is launched.

The University is to launch a pioneering campaign to influence and inform the global debate around climate change.

‘Edinburgh Action for the Climate’ will harness the expertise of the University’s many academics currently conducting ground-breaking research into areas such as carbon capture and storage and renewable energy.

Edinburgh is committed to making a real impact in clean energy access through our research and partnerships. Projects like PISCES, institutes like the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation and partnerships with the United Nations, world governments and other groups allow us to translate our research into impact around the world.

Professor James SmithVice-Principal International