About

ZERO (Zero-carbon Energy Research Oxford) is a research institute bringing together researchers from across the University of Oxford to tackle questions surrounding zero-carbon energy systems. We aim to establish Oxford as a centre of research excellence and thought leadership on the zero-carbon transition.

Over 70% of the greenhouse gases responsible for climate heating come from the conversion and use of energy. The transition to a zero-carbon energy system is therefore critical for establishing a stable climate.

Working in partnership with external organisations, we provide insights, tools and techniques that will accelerate the transition to a just zero-carbon energy system.

Our areas of work 

Our work starts with three main areas within this context.

Zero-carbon space heating & cooling

We are looking at how space heating and cooling can be electrified or shifted to other zero carbon fuels through changes in design, efficiency and social practices of both buildings and conversion devices. In particular, we are developing research strengths in the areas of passive cooling and heat pumps, which have been marginal in energy research, but are becoming central with the need to decarbonise the largest global use of energy.

Research will be led by the School of Geography and Engineering Science departments.

Zero-carbon energy conversion

Our research and partnership projects explore the use of non-carbon fuels in applications that cannot be electrified and for long-term storage. In particular, we are developing research strengths in fuels cells and electrolysis, which are critical to the inter-conversion of electricity and hydrogen.

Research will be led by the Materials department.

Zero-carbon energy use

We are asking how the transition to zero-carbon can be enabled by improving energy efficiency and reducing energy demand. In particular, we are designing and implementing projects on global energy demand and how reductions in energy use can be achieved whilst delivering the services people need.

Research will be led by the School of Geography and Engineering Science departments.

How are we funded?

We have secured a £3.25m investment from the University of Oxford’s Strategic Research Fund (SRF).