A NEW centre focusing on energy policy has been formally launched at Strathclyde University’s Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC).

The Centre for Energy Policy (CEP) has been created with the aim of “challenging and informing policy analysis and decision-making” in Scotland and around the world.

It is hoped the CEP will link the expertise available at the university to the design and development of policy.

CEP director Professor Karen Turner said: “The centre will look to broaden the discussion about the future of energy policy in Scotland, not just focusing on electricity and renewables but also considering the longer-term issues, such as transport and heating.

“The centre will benefit from Strathclyde’s renowned collaborative approach to research and knowledge exchange.

“Our team will draw on the university’s considerable energy-related expertise – held across its science, engineering, humanities and social sciences faculties and business school – and will create a space for useful and challenging debate on energy policy.”

The drive for more efficient and cost-effective energy has never been greater with the global landscape changing quickly due to economic and technological shifts plus advances in understanding the implications of climate change.

Strathclyde’s CEP will help sustain and safeguard our energy supply, while maintaining international commitments to cut carbon emissions in the short, medium and long term.

The centre will also take part in the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) project to look at the economic benefits of energy-saving efficiencies across households and industry.

CEP chairman Ian Marchant, the former SSE chief executive, said: “How we produce energy determines our environmental impact, its price, our economic welfare and its availability in our way of life. We need a joined-up policy framework that acknowledges these objectives.

“The CEP is a much-needed innovation to bridge academic approaches to energy policy, the needs of policymakers, and the engineering and business challenges of this 21st-century industry.”

The new facility will be closely involved with other Strathclyde-based expertise including the engineering faculty, business and law schools, the headquarters of the UK’s £50 million Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, and the Technology and Innovation Centre. It will carry out multi-disciplinary research, knowledge exchange and education in the energy policy arena.

Its focus is on the design and delivery of policies relating to energy production, security of supply, sustainability of energy supply, and both the economic and environmental impacts of energy policies.