NEF's activities in the research sphere concentrate mainly on applied research into ways of improving the take-up of established energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, investigating barriers to action, and smoothing the route for early adopters of new low-carbon technologies. It has also been involved in socio-economic research projects in the UK and internationally.
Type of Research
The Foundation undertakes three types of research:
- basic research into sustainable energy, funded internally or by other charitable trusts;
- applied research into specific aspects of sustainable energy and climate change, including embedded carbon emissions, typically sponsored by a single public body or commercial company, which may or may not enter the public domain; and
- collaborative research, as part of larger UK or pan-European projects tackling big issues in sustainability, often funded in whole or in part through UK Government departments or the European Union's Framework programmes.
Sample Research Activities
Some of the current or recent research projects the charity has been involved with include:
In the 1990s, the Foundation was involved in extensive research into domestic energy use in newly built low energy homes through detailed monitoring of energy consumption of home in the Milton Keynes Energy Park. This data was used to help validate domestic energy models such as BREDEM.
- Participation in ENERFISH, a European Research Project looking at producing biodiesel from the waste generated at a fish processing plant. This three-year project is supported by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and the lead partner is VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland. To ensure the viability and rapid commercialisation of the technology, the partners are constructing a biodiesel production plant next to the Vietnamese fish processing plant Hiep Thanh Seafood JSC; more information can be found on the ENERFISH website
- T-Zero - towards zero emissions on refurbishing buildings which was funded through the UK's Technology Strategy Board. This three year collaborative research project developed a webtool and route map to provide the most effective means of moving existing domestic buildings towards zero CO2 emissions, as well as plans for its commercialisation
- A private research project Assessment of Potential for Energy Savings from PC Software Management for a company involved in developing centralised PC energy management software. The public report is available as a PDF download
- An extended research project into the Embodied energy in a planned UK reservoir
- Developing a renewables and low carbon Assessment Tool, partly through sponsorship of MSc research at Cranfield University
- An applied research report into Energy Efficiency and Conservation Experiences in the EU for the Ministry of Industry, Vietnam. This was funded through EU-ASEAN Energy Facility as part of a study into the case for establishing an energy efficiency and conservation center in Vietnam
The charity has also undertaken numerous research reports into ways in which UK organisations in both the public and private sectors can meet a proportion of their energy demand through renewable energy sources.
For further information contact our Research Team on (+44) (0)1908 665555.