Professor Furong Li from Bath University’s Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering is just one of 24 award holders announced by the Royal Society. Professor Li’s research is aimed at accelerating the UK’s move towards low-carbon living particularly with regard to lowering the cost of integrating renewable energy systems and the use of cost-reflective economic incentives to shape future energy use. She is also involved in work to develop highly flexible, interactive and cost-effective smart grids.
The work has also led to the development of pricing methods to promote efficient energy network development in order to meet customer needs. This has led to the adoption of Professor Li’s methodology by 80 percent of the UK’s distribution network operators leading to a fundamental change in the way the UK’s electricity network is managed. Professor Li’s research has also initiated a review of transmission and distribution pricing across the world by countries such as Brazil, Ireland, India and China and she has been invited to share her work with Brazilian and Lithuanian energy regulators. She will also be leading a delegation to India sometime this month aimed at exploring economically efficient charging methods that will also be socially acceptable.
The Wolfson Merit award will allow Professor Li to focus on mapping out the current energy network infrastructure across the UK in order to identify those areas which most lend themselves to micro-generation and home energy management. Professor Li will be working with government and network operators to develop incentives for these regions which will help to increase the public uptake of micro-generation technologies.
“A key element of any solution to decarbonise our electricity generation will be micro generation, where individual households use technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, combined heat and power methods and home energy storage to generate some of their own power from renewable sources, which they will consume and store when the price is at its cheapest” Professor Li said.
The five year award is funded by the Wolfson Foundation, a grant-making charity established in 1955, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).