A scholarship announced for energy storage students at Ulster University will help create “radical change” in our energy systems.
The award has been funded by Action Renewables to mark the charity’s 20th anniversary.
It will provide one full-time student on the MSc energy storage course with £15,000 to cover full tuition fees, plus a stipend.
Energy storage is a key part of tackling climate change.
It allows excess renewable power generation to be stored and used later.
The MSc course explores thermal and electrical storage technologies and how intermittent renewable energy sources can be mixed into the existing energy system.
It is based at the university’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment in Belfast.
There the Centre for Sustainable Technologies undertakes research to develop sustainable renewable energy, building design and construction materials and transport and environmental technologies.
Action Renewables chief executive Terry Waugh said the charity wanted to support students in mitigating climate change.
“I am absolutely thrilled with the new scholarship programme,” he said.
As we celebrate 20 years of our charity this year we wanted to mark the occasion with a significant contribution to the enhancement of education around climate change and to be able to support students on this master’s degree course is a wonderful way to do that.
Transition to net-zero
The course director Dr Caterina Brandoni said the course would help to grow “industry and public sector understanding of the scientific and technological challenges associated with energy systems”, adding that those skills were “essential for us to transition to a net-zero carbon society”.
Northern Ireland has a legally-binding goal to reach net zero by 2050, with energy storage featuring in the Energy Strategy.
Prof Philip Griffiths, an academic at the Ulster University Centre for Sustainable Technologies, said: “Radical change is required to our energy economy.
“Central to this will be the adoption of energy storage technologies, both small and large scale, domestic and grid based, so that we can adopt a zero-carbon energy system.
“This generous scholarship will provide a potentially life-changing opportunity to a student by significantly improving their employability.
“The scholar’s new expertise will cater to the growing demand for green jobs in Northern Ireland and beyond, especially within energy supply, transmission, distribution companies, and consultancies.”