E.ON has launched partnerships with two of Birmingham’s universities to develop and demonstrate low carbon technologies and forge closer ties between academia and the world of work.
Aston University and Birmingham City University are working with E.ON on projects to reduce CO2 emissions, develop green jobs and collaborating on innovative low carbon research projects.
As part of the agreement E.ON will be working together with the two universities as partners in Birmingham Science City; developing exciting low carbon initiatives for the Midlands.
Michael Woodhead, managing director of E.ON’s Sustainable Energy business, said: “Partnerships like this will help develop the knowledge and expertise we need to tackle climate change. Bringing together a global energy company and leading universities will help create the solutions and deliver new jobs in the growing green economy.
“We already have a number of projects in the pipeline which will complement our work across the city on energy efficiency and fuels for the future which, analysts say, could see savings of up to £900 million for Birmingham in the next 15 years.”
Alan Charters, executive director of capital developments at Aston University, said: “The University has a strong reputation for high quality low carbon research and developing a range of green initiatives on its campus. Aston was awarded ‘first class honours’ this year by the People and Planet Green League 2011, and were ranked 12th greenest university in the UK.
“We believe our partnership will further strengthen our collaborative work and advance our developments towards a better environment. This will all help to maintain the high standard of environmental awareness we practice today.”
Professor David Tidmarsh, vice-chancellor at Birmingham City University, welcomed the collaboration which anticipates global pressures to ensure Birmingham is an even greener place to work, live and study in.
“As a leading supporter of a more sustainable environment Birmingham City University is helping partners and other pioneering stakeholders to look to the future,” said Professor Tidmarsh.
“Birmingham City University is recognised as a leader in developing ‘green’ technology – and we are applying this smart thinking into our new City Centre Campus to generate up to 20 per cent of the building’s energy needs through renewable sources.
“Through strategic partnership, such as with the City of Birmingham and our specialist Birmingham School of the Built Environment, we provide unique platforms to develop expertise, applied research and education.”
E.ON and Aston University are already working together as part of the CABLED electric vehicle trial and the European Bioenergy Research Institute (EBRI) which is developing ways of generating heat and power from renewable biomass sources, which includes using algae, sewage sludge, wood and agricultural waste as sources of fuel.
E.ON is also an industry backer of the Aston University Engineering Academy which will open next September.
Birmingham City University’s Centre for Low Carbon Research has been awarded an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant to investigate the use of algae as a realistic alternative to fossil fuel and is working with the UK’s largest importer of Asian foods and spices; East End Foods, on an urban farm concept based at the iconic former HP factory in the city.
Building performance expert Dr Lubo Jankovic, from the Birmingham City University School of Architecture and Centre for Low Carbon Research has developed a method to measure a property’s ‘eco value’ to test the financial returns on energy efficiency investments by homeowners – based around the Birmingham Zero Carbon House, a ground-breaking carbon-neutral building based on 170-year-old redbrick Victorian house.
Coventry-based E.ON is building partnerships across major British cities, bringing together companies, the public sector and energy customers big and small to look at how the city can meet its energy challenges while continuing to develop local jobs and reduce fuel poverty.
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