Discover our Big Ideas


Our Big Ideas webinar series explores  the latest thinking and technologies around alternative fuels, heat, storage and other aspects of energy research.

It's time for Big Ideas

As ERA reaches the end of its £60 million capital build programme, which has focused on the development of 23 test and demonstration facilities, it has been through a process of examining how to apply its academic capability and facilities to a series of major research, development and demonstration challenges which face the UK as it accelerates the delivery of low-carbon solutions towards 2050. This has resulted in a series of ‘Big Ideas’ focussed on:

  • Implementation and demonstration of next-generation fuels;
  • Medium-term, large-scale, energy storage;
  • Integrating the circular economy with zero carbon and CCUS acceleration;
  • Grid-scale electricity system modelling for future-proofing infrastructure;
  • A National Centre for Decarbonisation of Heat, NCDH, and
  • Behavioural transition for a low-carbon future.

ERA has created a number of platforms for the development of these Big Ideas which include the Tyseley Energy Park, the Trent Basin housing development in Nottingham and the Keele campus. ERA is also actively pursuing the creation of new activities associated with the redevelopment of the Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal-fired power station near Nottingham. In each case the aim is to support a transition, in close alliance with industry and the public sector, which also links to the underpinning research expertise.

Links to Zoom videos of completed events can be found beneath the graphic below.

The Big Ideas seminar series

The Big Ideas webinar and workshop series took place over the spring and summer and covered the following subjects:

  • Behavioural change - Has the decline in transport and industrial activity as a result of COVID19 given us a glimpse into the behaviours needed to achieve low-carbon future? What other changes also need to take place and what are the issues?
  • Low Carbon Gases - What are the latest technologies and the potential applications for them? What are the challenges that need to be overcome to achieve this?
  • Low Carbon Fuels - In this webinar we take a look at the latest developments in low-carbon liquid fuels
  • National Centre for Decarbonisation of Heat - ERA is proposing to develop a national centre for decarbonising heat. Find out more at this event.
  • Energy Storage - What are the technologies available for short term, medium term and long-term storage. What is preventing the commercialisation of new energy storage technologies?


The Big Ideas seminar webinar and workshop series is your opportunity to get involved with and contribute to these ideas.

Big Ideas webinars