Enlit Europe - The Guide: Season 3 June 2021 - A Just Transition - Page 25

“ It ’ s one of the hardest energy policy nuts to crack ” says co-director Prof Benjamin Sovacool

INNOVATION CENTRE SETS SIGHTS ON DECARBONISING INDUSTRY

“ It ’ s one of the hardest energy policy nuts to crack ” says co-director Prof Benjamin Sovacool

A ‘ just transition ’ will be one of the core issues to be tackled by a new research and innovation centre that has been unveiled in the UK .
The Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre ( IDRIC ) is backed by £ 20 million from UK Research and Innovation and intends to become “ the national focal point and international gateway for industrial decarbonisation ”.
The centre will work closely with the UK ’ s major industrial hot spots plus a diverse range of over 140 partners in a bid to create the world ’ s first net-zero emissions industrial cluster by 2040 and four lowcarbon clusters by 2030 .
“ The interdisciplinary centre will become a leading research program that is truly one of the best in the world , but one that is also instrumental in aiding industry to take the steps necessary towards a net zero future ,” said the centre ’ s co-director Benjamin Sovacool , who is Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit at England ’ s University of Sussex Business School . are no simple solutions – it is one of the hardest energy policy nuts to crack ”. Jeremy Kent Hall , Professor of Innovation Studies at the University of Sussex Business School , believes the IDRIC ’ s remit “ is vitally important work that will hopefully prove to be of tremendous benefit to UK industry but also help to establish a decarbonisation template for the world to follow and act upon ”.
Dr Bryony Livesey , Challenge Director for the Industrial Decarbonisation challenge , stressed that the introduction of the IDRIC concept “ shows the commitment to not only fund large scale decarbonisation efforts , but to make sure we continually learn from and adapt to their early results and challenges ”.
“ By enabling the centre to build evidence on a range of areas from direct costs and emissions to skilled jobs and wider net zero policy , we believe we are creating a more adaptive and responsible path for the UK ’ s big industry to take to remain at the forefront of a global low-carbon future .”
The IDRIC is a component of the UK ’ s Industrial Decarbonisation challenge , part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson ’ s 10-point plan for what he calls a “ green Industrial Revolution ”.
The centre ’ s funding is a slice of a wider £ 166.5 million government investment designed to accelerate the delivery of critical game-changing technologies to drive Britain ’ s climate change ambitions and create jobs .
Prof Sovacool is one of 11 energy policy experts from the University of Sussex who will be involved in the centre .
He said decarbonising industry “ is absolutely central to limiting the impact of climate change but there
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