On the 23rd January, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero and Just Transition, Màiri McAllan MSP, announced the launch of the latest ground-breaking partnership between Scotland’s universities to combat the climate emergency.

Members of Energy@Edinburgh at the SBNZ launch meeting, Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh

Scotland Beyond Net Zero (‘SBNZ’) is a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, and other partners from Scotland’s universities including Aberdeen, St Andrews, Dundee, Heriot-Watt, Stirling and Strathclyde. It is aimed at supporting Scotland’s goal to achieve net zero by 2045. Collaboration across Scotland’s universities on climate is at the heart of the approach offered by SBNZ – working together will help accelerate research and knowledge faster than working alone.

The collaboration will mobilise world leading, interdisciplinary and collaborative research to address climate change. It will support partnership between academic researchers, industry, civil society and government, focusing on innovation and experts in sustainability and climate science to work hand-in-hand to address clean energy, decarbonisation, energy storage, and more. SBNZ aims to support informed decision-making at the highest-level, ranging from government, organisation, policy and industry leaders.

Professor Sir Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh highlighted the urgent need and importance of SBNZ: “Climate change is the greatest global challenge of our time. We need coordinated action to harness our combined strengths. To support Scotland’s transition to net zero, it is vital that we go further and faster together. That’s what SBNZ aims to do”.

SBNZ invited Energy@Edinburgh, the University of Edinburgh’s interdisciplinary network of energy academics, to showcase energy innovations at the launch.

Energy Research at the University of Edinburgh

The university hosts a wide range of cutting-edge research on energy and climate change, from governance to renewable energy technologies and energy finance solutions. Energy research takes place across the university’s three Colleges, including many different disciplines.

Energy@Ed was represented at the SBNZ launch by University of Edinburgh academics from Engineering, Social and Political Sciences, Mathematics, Geosciences, Chemistry and the Edinburgh College of Art – including E@E’s co-directors, Professor Markus Mueller, RAEng Chair in Emerging Technologies, School of Engineering, and Dr Mark Winskel, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social and Political Science.

Dr Winskel comments: “Energy research and policy challenges are deeply interdisciplinary. At Energy@Edinburgh, we create interdisciplinary spaces for the university’s energy researchers to address the big challenges facing energy transitions: decarbonisation, equity and security. The SBNZ initiative shows the strong backing of our efforts by the leaders of Scotland’s universities and government. It’s a very encouraging step.”

The Energy@Ed network spans several broad thematic areas, including technology development, energy, society and just transition and energy infrastructure. Professor Mueller adds: “we aim to be inclusive and flexible – we welcome University of Edinburgh researchers at all career stages with energy-related research interests.”

To find out more, and to join the network, visit www.energy.ed.ac.uk or email energy@ed.ac.uk