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Renewable Energy

RenewablesRenewable energy spans a rather broad remit, including: solar thermal and solar photovoltaics, on- and off-shore wind turbines, hydro, wave, geothermal, and biofuels. Electricity generated from most sources of renewable energy are essentially free of harmful greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and avoid the geopolitical risks associated with fossil fuels. For solar photovoltaics and wind power, questions surround the intermittency/availability of generation and the integration of these systems into electricity grids.

One of the major cornerstones of research since the inception of The Open University has centred round renewable energy technologies. The distinctive approach of the OU to research has included examining the contentious claims for 'sustainable biofuels', especially regarding GHG emissions due to indirect land-use change, as a basis for EU and national mandatory emissions reduction targets. The OU is significantly involved with local utility companies in research surrounding the adoption and integration of renewable energy technologies into smart-grids. Such smart-grids will distribute electricity in the cities of tomorrow.

Further Information

For further information on OU renewable energy research, please send an e-mail to